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Originally published Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 7:17 AM

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Saudi Arabia's top cleric criticizes Twitter users

Saudi Arabia's top religious cleric has criticized the social media website Twitter, calling it "a council for jokesters" and a place for unjust, incorrect messages.

The Associated Press

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia —

Saudi Arabia's top religious cleric has criticized the social media website Twitter, calling it "a council for jokesters" and a place for unjust, incorrect messages.

Grand Mufti Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik made his remarks late Friday during a speech to other Saudi clerics.

Twitter has been used by youth activists to galvanize protests in the Arab Spring uprisings, as well as by regional governments seeking to communicate with the public.

The mufti's remarks come on the same day that the imam at Mecca's Grand Mosque said people have the right to express themselves, but must do so cautiously in order to protect the nation's prestige and unity.

Rights groups have criticized Saudi Arabia for its limited freedoms and its ultraconservative mores.

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