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Bahrain: #NickKristof Bullied on Twitter

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Bahrain, Freedom of Speech, Media & Journalism, Protest

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011 [1].

Since arriving in Bahrain on February 15, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof [2]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 [3] when tweeting slowed, others have instead taken to bullying [4] the reporter. The tweets mostly consist of accusing Kristof of lying in the most creative terms.

Nick KristofIn constant updates, @nickkristof [5]has been tweeting his experiences over the past days, including the re-telling of stories of victims [6] 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 [4] on Friday night:

@Madawibander [7] i would love to know what #NickKristof gets out of spreading his blatant lies. If you know please tell me.

@mDoseri [8]: People raise your hands in favor of hating #NickKristof *RaisingBothHands*

@TalhaOfficial [9]: 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 [10]: #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 [11]: A petition has been put up to report #NickKristof ‘s bias to the New York Times Editor http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/NickKristoff [12]

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 [12], 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 [1].