Bahrain: #NickKristof Bullied on Twitter

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

Since arriving in Bahrain on February 15, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has joined the many voices on Twitter live-reporting turbulent events. While many have been thankful for his updates, and even worried for his safety when tweeting slowed, others have instead taken to bullying the reporter. The tweets mostly consist of accusing Kristof of lying in the most creative terms.

Nick KristofIn constant updates, @nickkristof has been tweeting his experiences over the past days, including the re-telling of stories of victims who were attacked by the army and police. Tensions are high, and state media often tell a different version of events. Twitter users who express opinions that contradict either one side or another are often taunted.

This is just a brief selection of some of the tweets appearing on the hashtag #nickkristof on Friday night:

@Madawibander i would love to know what #NickKristof gets out of spreading his blatant lies. If you know please tell me.

@mDoseri: People raise your hands in favor of hating #NickKristof *RaisingBothHands*

@TalhaOfficial: hahha RT @nickkristof Goodness –I just read tweets suggesting that I've been shot in the neck here in #Bahrain I can confirm that I am fine

@iCallBS_BRN: #NickKristof is probably crying in a corner right now.

There is much more, and worse. In the early morning hours the tweeting stopped with several people signing off and thanking everyone for the barrels of #nickkristof satire and humor.

@Noonieee: A petition has been put up to report #NickKristof ‘s bias to the New York Times Editor

One Bahraini student in London, Hassan Al Bash, created an online petition against Kristof explaining his frustration with the reporter. The petition, signed by 64 people so far, says Kristof failed to report all sides of the story, and allegedly posted unconfirmed information about the Saudi military being in Bahrain.

This issue was not about sectarian hate, the people did not want to overthrow the government. What the people were peacefully protesting for was reform, but Nick Kristof went on to compare the situation to Tunisia’s and Egypt’s. Not once did he mention the opposing point of view, not once did he see look at the situation objectively, and see that both sides were wrong.

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.


  • Bahrain United

    A shame to see such a strong advocate of womens rights get it so wrong in bahrain. Irresponsable reporting to say the least, his Bias was just off the charts. A huge (+100,000) progoverment rally even got a mention from him, along with all other government statements he did not find useful to his cause.

    He paid 0 sensetivity to the tensions in bahrain and almost contributed to make the situation worse. Thankfully, he was found out in a few days and now all sects of the bahrain community joined in his roast, so atleast some good came out of it.

  • DJT

    Predictable but still sad. Besides pro-regime locals, plenty of those comments probably came from stateside. The pro-status quo rationale of “they’re dictators, but they’re OUR dictators” is exacerbated in Bahrain by the added paranoia of an empowered Shi’a majority. Hopefully any new government will work with America, but if not … well, you reap what you sow. Karma gave us the ayatollahs for knocking over Mossaddegh. Only time will tell here, assuming the Khalifas even fall. And trolling is the least of Mr. Kristof’s worries now. Stay safe over there.

  • Frombahrain

    Am a female expat in Bahrain, am finding all of this increasingly “funny” (not funny because ppl is dying but the reports are). There was no +100000 ppl rally, tops 5000 people – I can tell you since I was there, anyway!
    Kristof’s reports are certainly one sided, and there are no news bothering to report the countless occasions in which the police in Bahrain has been attacked by youth with molotov cocktails, tire burning on the roads, etc. Certainly the response from the army is crazy as the people (this time) were actually peaceful. True that the Saudi army is here (seen the tanks first hand – Saudi tanks with Saudi army driving them and holding the guns).
    Now, the most ironic part is, what do they want???? They have absolutely no unity on what they are asking for, and now they are using the “excuse” of the gov shooting at them (very wrong of the gov to shoot anyway) to reject any possibility of conversations, so, whats the demand here???? A shia dominated and ruled country where alcohol would be banned, foreigners expelled.. and then what? Forget about foreigner investment here! There is absolutely nothing worth investing in in this country. We stay here because living here is easy, making business is easy (in most cases,if the government authorities and institutions dont slow the process – usually Shia’s lazying around doing F’all demanding more money and less hours). When you want to demand something you need to make sure you are willing to take the responsibilities that will come with those demands.
    Am getting tired of this story, and so are most expats that are actually rising this country, if we leave, you’ll have what you want, a sandpit worth 0. Go home and start working, there are enough jobs for everyone, I tell you we are still looking for Bahrainis willing to work, but they are all too lazy to actually do it.

  • Banan Yaquby

    I must say as a 25 year old girl, following Nick’s twitter comments during the last few weeks was BURNING ME UP. He is one big compulsive lier that only listens to himself. Sadly, Nick came into Bahrain thinking, OH stupid bahraini’s wouldn’t notice, he missed out on the point that Bahrainis are VERY EDUCATED, and will not let this slip by.

    WE will demand, and we will keep demanding even if means that we have to Sue him for the nasty job he has done in Bahrain. He only help build up the hate, discrimination, and destroy the unity of our country.

    And he seriously still believes we are paid by the government to joke about him in twitter, and work on having a petition signed against him. Seriously? How ignorant. We want the world to hear that you are not credible, and you were here with an agenda, we can read between the lines NICK.

    I would also re-empahsize the points that were mentioned above by others, there was a VERY BIG pro-gov rally, 100,000+ that covered all the roads of Bahrain, and he did not even mention it once. Didn’t even bother to listen to our voice once. And he keeps trying to mention AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, the shia are the majority, and we are the pro-govt minority.

    LISTEN OUT NICK, and face it, we are the silent majority. And by we, I do not mean us Sunna, I mean a mix of BOTH Sunna and Shia together. Yes, we definitely agree with the fact that we need some reforms, but we love this country and our rulers, and think its very disrespectful to say they have not done anything in the past 10 years, because they have DONE A LOT to make Bahrain what it is today. If anyone wants further reforms we have a parliament, we should not go camping in the MIDDLE of the most strategic roundabout in TOWN, and ask to sit there until its done. We are not in a movie here, its an entire GOVERNMENT. You need to sit, debate, and wisely make decisions. So what they want us to stop working , and paralyze our economy until the changes are made? None sense.

    So I truly hope our voice will reach to the concerned people, and Nick will be questioned on the damage he has done.

  • […] York Times‘ Nick Kristof who, after tweeting his experiences from the ground in Bahrain, was bombarded with tweets from Bahrainis who opposed the protests. Thus began a Twitter […]

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