This might be the world’s first high-profile live-tweets of an entry-visa denial.
New York Times columnist Nick Kristof (@NickKristof), who knows how to use social media in smarter ways than most journalists (see my April 2012 post about his fans using social media to mark his birthday), found himself denied an entry visa into Bahrain earlier today. He took to Twitter to complain and bring attention to the situation there.
Kristof has written a lot about human rights abuses by Bahrain, an ally of the U.S., so that’s why he was denied a visa at the airport. This happened despite the fact that U.S. citizens can transit through the kingdom without a visa.
As I write this, it’s been about three hours since he first started tweeting about his adventure (see the first tweet above and in this link) and has so far sent more than 30 tweets, many of them retweeted hundreds of times. As he said, “If I’m going to stay up all night detained in #Bahrain airport, I may as well spend the time tweeting indignantly!.” But he also made it clear he has it better than many Baharainis who are tortured for speaking up against the government: “People are feeling way too sorry for me. I’m sitting in a nice Bahrain airport, denied entry, but sitting by Starbucks.”