Saudi men call for ‘no girls on Twitter’

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Thousands of Saudi are trying to drive off Twitter – but the effort seems to have backfired.

Gender segregation is the norm Saudi Arabia, and it appears some people want that to extend to social networks too. An Arabic hashtag which translates as “We don’t want girls on Twitter” was mentioned almost 400,000 times over the weekend. Its origins are unclear – BBC Trending couldn’t [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]

locate the first tweet using the tag.

But it didn’t quite go as those behind it seemed to have intended – in many of those who joined seemed to be against the segregation of the sexes online. took to tweeting jokes decrying the tag, and some men pitched as well.

“Why? What have we done?” cried one user with mocking emojis.

“This is the person who started the hashtag,” tweeted another, above a picture of a goat.

One user pointed out a maxim heeded by advert writers and nightclub owners the world over. “If there were no girls on twitter,” said @arts121, “no man will sign up.”

Some also started a hashtag “We don’t want men on Twitter” retaliation – but it only gathered around 1,500 tweets.