Wednesday, 16 March 2011

BTV Confirms: in a cyber revolution a war of memes

Nada Ali
For jokes about BTVs credibality, check out :)

Bahrain State TV (BTV) would be something of a joke, if it was not a state TV.

During the recent protests in Bahrain BTV has accused the protesters of repeated crimes based on the most vague or evidence while failing to report anything of substance of the people on the ground. Bahrain TV even went as far as to claim over 450,000 people attended a rally in support of the government, which is very impressive if true given the entire population of the island Kingdom (men, women, children, old people, people in hospitals, people who can't move) is 1.2 Million.

Digital natives involved in the Bahrain protest have set up an interest strategy to undermine the constant flow of propaganda coming from TV. They have set up a BTVConfirms in which pro-democracy people in Bahrain can compete to come up with the most absurd claims to be "confirmed" by BTV.
that they've upgraded their helicopter and that it can now film over the Lulu roundabout area.
Stacy Anzick
@ @ @ I am sure the next time it is seen in the edited version it will be chocolates wrapped up
Aseel Sharaf
that Bahrain is not an island/made up of islands, despite 'irellevant' proof and what international sources say.
Hassan sater
they got nominated and won the Golden globe Under the title of science fiction.
Abdulla Al Saud
Sources: Al-Manar TV viewers reveal important and special reports on the bulletin 8:30 GMT Bahrain, this is spit on
Rayan AlHaiki
that 'The Moment Of Truth' is just copying them.
Rukaya Khalid
that Darth Vader provoked the protesters.
Batool Ahmed
that it's the biggest country in the world

The Web 3.0 Lab has labelled this strategy a meme bomb. A meme bomb is when you use social networks to convert the meaning of a term or concept against some institution of figure in authority. This is one of the more clever examples we have ever seen, though Fox News in the United States is a regular victim of such attacks.


  1. Did you get your facts from BTV? Tweeters in Bahrain (on both sides of the protest issue) have been using humorous hash tags since the beginning of this mess BTVConfirms is just another one... I am not sure who the first person who said it was or where they stand politically but not all people who used BTVConfirms are from the Pro-Democracy camp. And even if all of the people using the BTVConfirms were part of the pro-democracy camp they were not all protestors (me for example). Here are some other creative hash tags from the last few weeks:

    #ChopperGuy - talking about the helicopter who was keeping watch

    #TaakBeerGuy - the guy who kept saying "TAAKBEER" every other breath during the We Love King Hamad Rally

    #ReasonsWhyTheCPisLate - was used when we were all waiting with baited breath for a speech by the Crown Prince on BTV while BTV showed patriotic marches, speeches, songs, how to make the Bahrain flag, etc - 3 hours later the edited interview aired

    #UniteBH - a very popular one that eventually had a video, song written and another video, bumper stickers, T-shirts, etc. People would say something that ALL BAHRAINIS due (certain places to eat, hang out, fun inside jokes, we all have to explain to people where Bahrain is, etc)

    The Bahraini people are so funny and full of life - this was their way of putting aside labels for a little while to remember what makes Bahrain beautiful and loved... sorry if it seems I have gone off on you but I don't want something that united us to have a story saying it is something that further divided us!

  2. Thank you for that.

    Our article was concentrating on BTVConfirms used in anger after the crack down. Though given the obvious "quality" of their reporting (450,000 confirmed at pro-government protest) we can see how it would be an ongoing joke.

    As for exploring Bahrain place, we have done this ourselves working backwards from Lulu on Foursquare, finding where people check in. Seems like a place where people look to go to cafes.

    Fourquare was very helpful in making it clear how ordinary and modern many of the pople involved in the movement were, how they hung out in cafes and liked music clubs. Not the hard line pro-Iranian Jihadists some in the press painted the event as.