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Côte d’Ivoire: Twitter Campaign for Anderson Cooper’s Attention

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Breaking News, Digital Activism, Elections, International Relations, Media & Journalism, Politics, Refugees

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011 [1].

On February 21, 2011, @kenyanpundit sent a tweet [2]linking to an article about international media following protests across the ‘Arab world’ but ignoring those in Africa: [3]

@kenyanpundit: On global media and African protests, “Why are Anderson Cooper and Nick Kristoff not in C'ote d'Ivoire”? http://bit.ly/ibWmdu [4]

@davidisen retweeted it [5] adding that both reporters are also ignoring Gabon [6]:

@davidisen: There's no Anderson Cooper or Nick Kristof in Gabon or Cote d'Ivoire! http://bit.ly/ibWmdu [4] h/t @kenyanpundit [7] @ethanz [8]

In the Middle East people speak English rather than French (the language used primarily on Ivorian protest hashtag #CIV2010 [9]), and this gave me the idea to start up a tweet campaign [10] to get CNN reporter Anderson Cooper [11] to cover Côte d’Ivoire [12]:

@annagueye [13]: @kenyanpundit [7] yes but people there speak English. I have decided that I will harass @andersoncooper [14] until he gets his ass in #CIV2010 [9]

@Darth_Sideous found another reason [15] why the conflict is being ignored by US media:

@Darth_Sideous: @kenyanpundit [7] @AndersonCooper [16]@NickKristof [17] Because we don't have OIL otherwise they'd be already in Ivory Coast! #civ2010 [18] we don't need them

@Darth_Sideous asked [19] that we stop the campaign as @andersoncooper [20] had not even bothered answering our tweets:

@Darth_Sideous: #civ2010 [18] Please stop asking @ac360 [21] to cover Ivory Coast bloodshed by pro-Gbagbo forces. He didn't answer a single tweet! Other media did.

Other media did address the issue, for example in this article by France 24, “Do not focus only on the the Arab world. Blood is also flowing on the streets of Abidjan [22]“.

On the third day of the campaign, at which point violence had been ongoing since Saturday 19 February, 2011, @Belligiani [23] concluded that US media “don’t care about Côte d’Ivoire”:


One of the first tweets saying that Côte d’Ivoire is in civil war [25] was from @SenamBeheton [26]:


On Friday 25 February, 2011, UNHCR staff reported that at least 20,000 had fled fresh violence in Côte d'Ivoire capital, Abidjan [28]. A few hours after this post was published @andersoncooper tweeted: [29]

@andersoncooper: I have been following #ivorycoast [30] closely and it deserves far more coverage. Monday will try to do something

Ivorians will be watching.

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011 [1].