Twitter hasn’t taken off in Libya the way it has in other African countries. The most-followed handle has 137,500 fans, according to the website Socialbakers.com, which tracks these statistics. By comparison the most followed person in South Africa has more than 1.8 million followers, Socialbakers.com reports. Still, people — mostly political bloggers at this point, but there are also a few sports stars and a former deputy prime minister — are tweeting in Tripoli and across the nation these days. Socialbakers.com is tracking them. Here are the 10 most-followed Libyan handles on Twitter.
Based in Tripoli, the tweets to Libyan Affairs’ 7,134 followers are in Arabic and English. Since we don’t read Arabic, we’re not sure what those are saying, but its choice of English retweets are pretty funny, including this one, from the CIA:
No, we don’t know where Tupac is. #twitterversary
— CIA (@CIA) July 7, 2014
He tweets about Libyan affairs, both at home and abroad, and has more than 8,300 followers. Tweets include:
— Mohamed Eljarh (@Eljarh) July 8, 2014
@ArmchairArab describes itself as a “slacktavist” tweeting about Libya’s Arab Spring and its aftermath. He or she has some 10,954 followers and sends out tweets like this:
.@Eljarh you must lack imagination if you feel there is no alternative to random shelling/air strikes.
— Libyan Armchair Arab (@ArmchairArab) July 8, 2014
Often interacting with No. 8 on our list — @ArchairArab (see the tweet below) — Rida also tweets about modern Libyan news and politics with a distinct editorial voice to some 13,000 followers.
— Rida (@libyanproud) July 7, 2014
A personal favorite Libyan tweeter, Hend is based in Qater, the U.S. and Libya and describes herself as an “international crouton” on the social network. She keeps an equally witty tumblr. On Twitter she has some 16,000 followers and posts carefully worded, often wise, tweets like this:
Ramadan isn’t just a time to abstain from food,but from whole host of vices,weaknesses,and to focus on becoming a better person,inside & out
— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) June 28, 2014
Identifying himself on Twitter as a “Libyan computer science student” who “used to tweet about revolutions,” today the @ChangeinLibya handle has 26,669 followers and sends out tweets in English and Arabic, including a number of retweets, like the one below, which he states in his handle description are personal endorsements of the opinion.
— Salon.com (@Salon) July 7, 2014
Libya’s former deputy prime minister tweets mostly in Arabic to his 28,580 followers. But sometimes he posts in English, apparently when referencing Facebook photos:
I posted a new photo to Facebook http://t.co/DRAzBR2CQm
— Dr.Mustafa Abushagur (@MustafaAG) June 12, 2014
Professional soccer player Dani Herandez is the goal tender for the Venezuelan Real Valladolid team. With more than 77,000 followers, he has more than double the fan base of our No. 4 placeholder. This is despite being less than prolific on Twitter — he has only posted 340 times since joining the social network in November 2011! Although he lists Tripoli as his base on his Twitter account, Hernandez pretty much exclusively tweets in Spanish:
Ya en Trípoli,dar gracias a los servicios médicos del @realvalladolid, como profesionales un 10 y como personas no hay calificativos GRACIAS
— Dani Hernández (@Danihs21) February 5, 2014
In the No. 2 spot with 136,559 followers, World Music Awards has one of only two verified accounts to make the Libyan Top 10. Although based in Libya, according to Socialbakers.com, it doesn’t Tweet about the country itself. Instead it describes itself as a site devoted to following international music awards. Here’s a recent tweet:
Shakira’s La La La video sorpassed 200 MILLION views today! pic.twitter.com/urS7DcsXVo
— World Music Awards (@WORLDMUSICAWARD) July 7, 2014
Tweeting under than handle @SababLibya, with 137,552 followers this group has more fans than anyone else in Libya and one of only two verified accounts in the Libyan Top 10 list. The handle was created to give a voice to Libya’s youth hoping to help rebuild their country. Tweets include:
— Libyan Youth Movmnt (@ShababLibya) July 3, 2014
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