Zero Dark Thirty on Social Media
The controversial film Zero Dark Thirty has been a focus of social media attention since it was given a limited release in just five US theaters on December 19, 2012. We began tracking user reactions upon the film’s limited release and followed them throughout subsequent developments over the following weeks: five Oscar nominations on January 10, its nation-wide release on January 11 and the films topping of the US Box Office on January 13.
From December 19, 2012-January 19, 2013, we captured 370,000 user comments (from English-speaking, US-based users) on the film. From the perspective of content, social media users – like the film’s many critics – grapple with the portrayal of torture as an apparently effective technique in the global campaign against terrorism. Generally, users preferred Microblogs as their medium to dish on the film, with Twitter alone generating 200,000 comments (54% of the total volume captured). News websites and forums followed, with 67,000 (18%) and 48,000 (13%), respectively. Below is a chart of the volume of comments on the social media platforms:
SPOILER ALERT: Discussion below may give away crucial plot elements
Zero Dark Thirty narrates the 10-year manhunt for terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden. Its name is a military term for 30 minutes after midnight, which is approximately the time a U.S. Navy SEAL team raided a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Bin Laden on May 2, 2011. Since the film’s initial release, it has raised both controversy and acclaim.
The 157 minute film currently holds a critics’ rating of 7.7/10 on the Internet Movie Database (Imdb), 93% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and 95% metascore on Metacritic. Critics praise the artistry and boldness of the film, brought on by Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow.
Bigelow is an American filmmaker, celebrated as the first woman ever to win an Academy Award for Best Director category for her 2008 Iraq War film The Hurt Locker. Zero Dark Thirty is written by Bigelow’s longtime collaborator Mark Boal, and co-produced by Bigelow, Boal and Megan Ellison. The film stars Jessica Chastain as Maya, the CIA operative who searched for Bin Laden for 10 years until she succeeded in locating him, and Australian actors Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke.
Zero Dark Thirty claimed the top spot in this year’s Golden Globes on January 14 for Best Actress. (It was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.) The film has received five Academy Award nominations (Oscars) for Best Film, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing, and the winners will be announced on February 24, 2013.
Zero Dark Thirty – what users are saying
Among critics, Zero Dark Thirty has emerged as perhaps the most controversial film of 2012, and social media users were divided in their views of the movie. More than 50% of user comments were critical or somewhat critical of the film: they described it as “overrated”, “mediocre” and “racist” and said it “sucked” and “fostered torture”. Users who lauded it (40%), did so fervently. They used terms such as “amazing”, “brilliant”, and “powerful” to laud the film, and repeatedly describe Bigelow as “talented”. Some 10% of user comments analyzed reported news of the film – such as news of Oscar nominations and articles and/or reviews of the film – without expressing a personal opinion
Tweeps spoke highly of the film, yet readers of news websites, gave the film the thumbs down. One possible explanation for this is perhaps that Tweeps write what comes to their minds, and tend to be more influenced by the views of their peers on the microblogging website, while commentators on news websites, forums, and blogs are more influenced by more lengthy/elaborative articles they read on the film.
Jordan E. tweeted: “Gotta say zero dark thirty brought tears to my eyes! So glad we caught that motherfucker!” https://twitter.com/fuck_fuck_games/statuses/288149597304537088
Tweep MToy supports Jordan E.’s view: “Zero Dark Thirty……. Very Powerful. I haven’t seen a movie that good in a long time!!” https://twitter.com/mtoy24/statuses/292135475039313920
Karen Kjarsgaard thought the film was “brilliant… though certain scenes are very hard to sit through. ‘Silver Linings’ and ‘Argo’ still my faves.” https://twitter.com/dkbif/statuses/291995188883226624.
Other tweeps were critical of the film for its promotion of torture, propaganda to the Obama Administration, or for telling lies.
Trevor Timm slams the film in his tweet: “Saw Zero Dark Thirty last night. It’s a revolting, revisionist film that unequivocally—and falsely—portrays torture as effective.” https://twitter.com/trevortimm/status/286540901461946370 .
ProFootball Talk complains of the length of the film: “On an unrelated note, roughly 45 minutes could be trimmed from Zero Dark Thirty without changing the story in any way.” https://twitter.com/profootballtalk/status/292499094025404416.
Interestingly enough, 5% of users said they hadn’t seen the film, but expressed their intention to boycott it – mainly because of the controversy surrounding its reported portrayal of torture.
Dyanne comments on a news article on the film: “I didn’t plan to see it because I hate torture. This story only seals the deal for me in cement.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/268-35/15583-zero-dark-thirty-is-bin-ladens-last-victory
Oppositely, some voice excitement to watch the film: Fratfrican American tweeted:
“About to go see Zero Dark Thirty. Can’t wait to stand up and yell “DEAL WITH IT” when Osama gets that ass capped.” https://twitter.com/fratfricnmericn/statuses/292426164910292992 .
The film opens with a lengthy scene of the CIA officer Dan (Jason Clarke), torturing Saudi captive “Ammar” to force him to give away information on a Bin Laden courier named Abu Ahmed. This scene and many others that construe the movie have stirred an uproar in the social media. Many argue that the film endorses torture, while others say the film is a form of art and thus has license to depict factual information.
The tumult drove director Kathryn Bigelow to defend the film in an article she wrote for the Los Angeles Times on January 15, 2013. In addressing the criticisms of her depictions of torture, Bigelow answered that depiction is not endorsement:
While the matter of torture in the film, as well as Bigelow’s response to film critics, was a focus of debate, social media discussion extended beyond the debate over torture to other dimensions of the “war on terrorism”:
Enhanced Interrogation Techniques:
Torture was the main theme discussed by US social media users. Almost 55% of the tweets on torture analyzed supported Bigelow’s view that the film is simply a depiction, not an endorsement of torture. On the other hand, comments on news websites, blogs, and forums showed more aversion to the film’s “endorsement” of torture.
The majority of tweets analyzed showed positive sentiment towards the film, stressing that it doesn’t promote torture but simple depicts fact.
Pakistani American stand-up comedian Kumail Nanjiani tweeted this funny comment in favor of the film: “Saying Zero Dark Thirty is pro torture is like saying Titanic is pro sinking.” https://twitter.com/kumailn/status/288460540139941889
Tweep and film critic Devin Faraci attacked Bigelow’s critics, stressing that the film doesn’t glorify torture: “I can’t wait for the Oscars to be over so I can stop reading dummies claiming ZERO DARK THIRTY glorifies torture.” https://twitter.com/devincf/status/289591332320706561
Singer Cher too defends the film’s depiction of torture, reminding her followers that Americans did torture detainees: “Katherine Bigelow is a GREAT DIRECTOR & we DID Torture ppl in The 2 Wars! Why is the Government ATTACKING HER FILM ? “ZERO DARK THIRTY”” https://twitter.com/cher/status/287290709327876097
On the other hand, some tweets clearly believe the film to be pro-torture. Some of them even hurl slurs at the film’s director and lead actress.
Palestinian-American journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin called the film “indefensible” on Twitter and “… #torture itself.” https://twitter.com/ase/status/282503303416389632
The prolific American political journalist Glenn Greenwald also criticized the film in a tweet: “Chris Hayes on Zero Dark Thirty: “It’s objectively pro-torture.””
Blogger and writer at the far left Gawker Adrian Chen attacked the glamorization of torture: “The true story of how a smoking hot supermodel killed Osama bin Laden using nothing but torture.” https://twitter.com/adrianchen/status/283046207226511362
News Websites, Blogs, and Forums
In the meantime, readers commenting on news websites reacted negatively towards the film; approximately 80% of their comments reflected negative sentiment towards what they regarded as the portrayal of torture as effective.
Reader GerryOregon commented on Bigelow’s LA Times article, and criticized: “Torture apologists make me sick. She brings further disgrace and shame to this country. She belongs in the sewer right next to Dick Cheney.” http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-et-mn-0116-bigelow-zero-dark-thirty-20130116/10
True Democrat also attacked Bigelow: “The only torture would be going to any movie she is involved with.”http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-et-mn-0116-bigelow-zero-dark-thirty-20130116/10
MrBetpower attacks the torture of detainees without trial: “What a crass article this is! And what US propaganda! This movie is nothing but blood money from the execution of a human being with no charge, jury in a court of law, or justice involved. If we can believe this is how (or if) it happened, that is. Same on the US military-government’s intrusion into Hollywood movies, which in this case, are certainly not entertainment. Unless, I guess, you get off on actually murdering people outside national and international law.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/268-35/15583-zero-dark-thirty-is-bin-ladens-last-victory
A few readers contended that the film merely reflected real events, whether movie-goers liked it or not.
Mira here commented on news of the film: “You should watch ZDT. You will realize that KB is not taking a position on torture. She is just narrating the story, putting it in front of the audience how the operation went through. Torture unfortunately is a part of that history and therefore her comment that depiction is not endorsement. She is not taking a stand on the legal and moral rights and wrongs of torture. Yes, torture is unacceptable BUT it was used and the CIA (or someone from the Bush government, I forget) has accepted that “enhanced interrogation methods” helped narrow down OBL’s courier. I don’t see anything wrong or offensive in this statement of KB.” http://www.celebitchy.com/274800/kathryn_bigelow_defends_zdt_torture_scenes_depiction_is_not_endorsement/#comment-13141384
GoodCapon argues that the torture scenes were few in the film, and showed that torture wasn’t effective to get prisoners to speak: “The torture scenes were only but a small part of the film and I think those who were complaining about it focused too much on it. From what was shown on the film, in the first part, they may have made some little progress using torture but in the end they got their break by outwitting the prisoner.” http://www.celebitchy.com/274800/kathryn_bigelow_defends_zdt_torture_scenes_depiction_is_not_endorsement/#comment-13141384
Arthur Blenheim also denies that the film shows torture as an effective information-gathering tactic: “Zero Dark Thirty” doesn’t depict torture working. It just depicts torture. And you’re missing the point: this movie is a “police procedural.” It’s not about torture. It’s about police work.” http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-et-mn-0116-bigelow-zero-dark-thirty-20130116/10
Social media users seem to have been more active than film critics in discussing another of the more controversial aspects of the “war on terror” – drone strikes, mentions of which are frequent throughout the film. While this was only a minor component (7%) of the discussions, all users who focused on this criticized such strikes as un-American and attacked the film for depicting them. Talk of drone strikes in relation to the film was almost exclusively discussed on news websites and blogs.
Reader abienrml blasts the inconsistencies within the American left in their disposition to the Obama and Bush administrations, asking: “So you have a problem with water boarding but no problem with Obama killing people with drones. Liberals had a problem with the Patriot Act yet we hear no outrage over Obama’s executive order that allows him to gather any information on an American citizen without cause.”
Reader Republitarian also asked: “Ha, and how many women and children has Obama killed with drone strikes? You liberal hypocrites make me sick with your moral perversity.”
Pat remembers this scene from the film: “There is also the subtle moment where the Maya character is talking to a friend about some mundane thing (I don’t remember the exact gist of the conversation) at the exact moment she’s watching a drone explosion via satellite. It’s a pretty overt illustration of how deadened she’s become to what she’s doing. I don’t see how that’s meant to be a ‘wow, what a badass’ moment.” http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/zero-dark-thirty-is-osama-bin-ladens-last-victory-over-america-20130116
Very few users defended the use of torture and drones. Here is a sample of that: “People that saw the movie: you know the dude they are torturing is an ACTUAL terrorist? I feel horrible as an American that this stuff happened to innocent people, but to someone who helped fund terrorist attacks and was considered the 20th hijacker? Not so much.” http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/zero-dark-thirty-is-osama-bin-ladens-last-victory-over-america-20130116
Many users question the truthfulness of the film, split nearly evenly in their opinions as to whether or not the film factually and realistically portrayed the events surrounding the search for Bin Laden. Some believed the film’s accuracy and its narration of the truth didn’t appeal to the CIA, nor the Academy that decided to snub Bigelow for the Golden Globe’s Best Director category. Others contend that the film is inaccurate and a propaganda tool for the Obama Administration and a bid to “washout America’s history’.
Screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis published several critical tweets, among which: “The fact that Zero Dark Thirty never acknowledges or implicates US policies that led to 9/11 is what makes the movie such a moral washout.” https://twitter.com/breteastonellis/status/284576964315070465
Barry Bolton said Bigelow’s film sent a confusing message: “Bigelow still refused to answer the basic question: Why does her film depict a tortured subject providing indispensable information leading to bin Laden, when she has zero evidence that such a thing ever happened, and when the Pentagon and the CIA insist that no crucial information came from tortured subjects?
That’s the only question she needs to answer. Why did she choose to tell a lie instead of the truth?”
Tweeter William Gibson quotes SEAL Team 6 who executed the operation that killed Bin Laden: “SEAL Team 6 calls Zero Dark Thirty inaccurate http://bit.ly/13ok93y”
DS supports the view that the film’s inaccuracy is the reason it has been so aggressively attacked: “In truth, most of ‘Hollywood’ (specifically, fellow filmmakers, producers, studio heads & the members of the voting committees) are snubbing the film due to the fact that it is disturbingly inaccurate, in parts – not simply because it might or might not offend their moral compass. In addition, many of these same people have expressed that they feel it was extremely over-hyped and not directed as well as other films that were released this past year.”
Others countered that people cannot handle the truth.
Stonedcommander said the film only narrated a story: “The movie just told the story as it happened, so I guess they rather see lies and bullpoop.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WIfuGDIZlhw
Facebooker Igor Pinchuk hails the film that is not a documentary, yet managed to be truthful: “This movie doesn’t have a political agenda, it doesn’t paint Obama in a negative light, it doesn’t endorse torture, it wanted to portray the reality of the events and wouldn’t not show torture if it was used, and finally the director said she is a PACIFIST. Enjoy that it’s not a blown out of proportion action movie like Black Hawk Down and actually tries to be as realistic as often as possible, despite being a movie and not a documentary. Good movie, go see it, and stfu super left and super right wingers. ENJOY.” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=279872478802291&set=a.224507691005437.45892.221436571312549&type=1&comment_id=508876&offset=0&total_comments=45
Art or Propaganda?
Some discussions tried to tone down the buzz the film has caused, saying that it is just a film. The majority of users holding these discussions (65%) make this argument to defend the film. They believe it is a form of art and should be treated as such. Others claim the film is meant to make money out of the hardships both the Navy Seals and the al-Qaeda detainees have suffered. Those particularly see the film as propaganda for the CIA or the US generally.
Giraffee2012 describes the film as a cash cow: “It was a money maker – which is all a movie is supposed to do. That people ‘believe in’ the plots or wish them true is why Hollywood in any country makes these movies. Since the torture scenes give Cheney’s stupid theory credibility – I won’t spend a dime to see this movie! I want Cheney in jail and not applauded.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/268-35/15583-zero-dark-thirty-is-bin-ladens-last-victory
Noddlepips describes the film as fake that cannot be art: “’Zero Dark Thirty’ The fake film about the fake war on terror spewed out by our fake propaganda media lap dogs. All for the consumption of the ‘sheeple’ to keep them scared to death of the bearded brown people who live in fake caves. Next it will be ‘celebrity dark thirty’ followed by ‘American idle dark thirty’ and ‘wheel of fortune dark thirty.’”
Kalithea regards the film as pornographic: “Oh puhleez! There’s a difference between artistic license and BIASED propaganda, racist porno.” http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/reviews-thirty-muslims.html/comment-page-1#comment-531948
Conversely, fewer users defended the film as possessing “poetic license”, which allows its makers to dramatize it to serve their vision. Chris Allen sees the film as seen by the unknown heroes on whom it is supposedly based and inspired: “@WSJ Zero Dark Thirty captures one of the most monumental stories in history through the eyes of our unsung heroes. Absolutely remarkable!” https://twitter.com/chriskshb/status/289378894342135809
Brinni stresses the film’s liberty to change facts, dates, etc: “It’s a movie! Poetic license, and all that. I recall there was no complaining when a torrent of movies depicted Bush in a bad light, some even imagining his assassination. The movie’s makers I’m sure are delighted with the free publicity.”
Islamophobia, Anti-Arab sentiment
A Tumblr thread of tweets and messages filled with hate speech against Arabs and Muslims fuelled other users against the film’s depiction of Muslims. The link has been attached to more than 100 other tweets, stirring user fear that the film might incite Islamophobia, or anti-Arab sentiment. Some reacted angrily to the film, but say that anti-Arab US films have long been a “staple of Hollywood” and are therefore unsurprising. Some film critics describe the film as “racist”, saying that it “enlightens” American audiences to hate Arabs.
Forum member Les argues that Americans cannot tell the difference between Arabs, Italians, and Iranians: “Anti-Muslim anti-Arab films are a staple of Holllywood. No wonder Americans don’t know enough to distinguish Christian Arabs from Muslim Arabs or Iranians from Arabs. The over-the-top racism of these images, Americans do get. Who put up the money for Zero Dark Thirty?” http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/reviews-thirty-muslims.html/comment-page-1#comment-531948
Tumblr user Yukidama reacted to the hate speech coursing through Tumblr: “Fuck zero dark thirty…fuck Kathryn bigelow…fuck mark boal…fuck Jessica chastain… the rest of the cast fuck every award show giving this shit nominations and prizes fuck everyone giving this movie money uncritically fuck every racist piece of jingoist trash spewing violent hateful fantasies about killing muslim people and fuck every single thing on this list for further fueling anti-muslim sentiment and then daring to act like they’re somehow enlightened for it.”
Jimmy Gargoyle addressed anti-Arab tweeps: “To everyone claiming their tweets against arabs about zero dark thirty are ‘not racist’ you are fucking nimrods, please eat shit and die.” https://twitter.com/grumpymanticore/statuses/292422974840111105
Megan Amram’s tweet against Arabs received 279 retweets and 432 favorites: “Should I see “Les Misérables” or “Lame-Ass Arab” (Zero Dark Thirty)” https://twitter.com/meganamram/status/284042157403303936
Bigelow and Boal based the film on CIA intelligence they were allowed access, a point which provoked a political uproar in the US, prompting a US Senate committee to begin investigating (on January 3) how much information the CIA disclosed to the filmmakers and the extent of the CIA’s involvement. CIA officials admitted briefing the filmmakers, but insisted that Zero Dark Thirty is a “dramatization” of the CIA’s work.
Some users claim the film is made by the CIA. Others support the filmmakers being artists and stress that Zero Dark Thirty isn’t a documentary.
Davegowdey declared he will boycott the film because it is a “lie” and because it polishes the CIA’s global image: “The one thing that the CIA is truly good at is Public Relations. I won’t see this film because it is fundamentally a lie. It cheers an agency that took ten years to find a 6’4″ Arab that needs kidney dialysis and who was being safe housed by an intelligence agency that was supposedly our ally. Moreover, our elite SEAL team had a tremendous victory over essentially no opposition – and still crashed a helicopter.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/268-35/15583-zero-dark-thirty-is-bin-ladens-last-victory
Al21 attacked the film because it supports the continuation of the war on terror: “Bigelow is no dummy and knew exactly what she was doing. This may have been the price for the CIA helping her gain access to the information she wanted. Either way, it makes the Cheneys of this country very happy and leaves the door open to perpetuating the so-called war on terror which the powers that be, never ever want to end. Like the film– it’s a great money maker.”
On this matter in particular, some users said that Bin Laden wasn’t killed in a US SEAL 6 raid in May 2011, but in April 2002 by kidney failure. They argue that Bin Laden was shot on spot, and then thrown in the sea. Some noted that SEAL 6 members are forbidden from speaking to the media about assassination of Bin Laden down.
Rachel Lichtman tweets: “The only scene missing from Zero Dark Thirty was of the CIA deciding to create a Bin Laden death narrative by making Zero Dark Thirty.”
Tonywicher claims that the US used Bin Laden to conceal the “real” perpetrators of 9/11: “Anybody who knows anything at all knows that bin Laden was only a patsy for the real perpetrators of 9/11, and that he died of kidney disease (Marfan’s syndrome) in early 2002. Hollywood is just another disinformation outlet for the CIA.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/268-35/15583-zero-dark-thirty-is-bin-ladens-last-victory
Larrypayne cites a May 9, 2011, BBC video of Abbottabad residents who said that Bin Laden didn’t reside in the alleged compound, nor they said did any SEAL Team 6 execute any military operation there:
“I wonder …. Bigelow and the CIA explain the news video made by an on-the-street BBC reporter in Abbottabad. The reporter interviewed over 50 residents of Abbottabad and only one out of the 50 thought the victim was Bin Laden. The old man watching the video who was supposed to be Bin Laden is holding the remote in his right hand. Bin Laden’s Most Wanted FBI poster says Bin Laden was left handed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1JWpgAWKEU.”
No Oscar for Bigelow
On January 10, 2013, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced its Academy Awards Nominations for 2013, where winners will be announced and awarded in a ceremony on February 24. Zero Dark Thirty received five Oscar nominations for Best Film, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing. US users expressed astonishment and indignation that Bigelow was “snubbed” for an Oscar nomination.
The majority of users commenting on this matter (85%) attacked Bigelow’s exclusion from the nominations, saying that her exclusion was a political decision based on her peers’ view that Zero Dark Thirty’s endorsement of torture was the reason it didn’t get a nomination for Best Director. Others argued that Bigelow’s exclusion from the category was down to gender in an industry dominated by men. On the other hand, 10% of the comments analyzed on the Oscar nominations and Bigelow, expressed satisfaction that Bigelow was not nominated, because, in their view, she is a “mediocre” and “not-talented” director. The remaining 5% republished news of Bigelow’s failure to secure an Oscar nomination without expressing an opinion.
British CNN host Piers Morgan lauded the film in a tweet and found it ridiculous that Bigelow was snubbed from Oscar nominations: “Just seen “Zero Dark Thirty” – fantastic movie, superbly directed. Ridiculous that Kathryn Bigelow didn’t get an Oscar nom.” https://twitter.com/piersmorgan/status/289874916730363904
Tweep Lifestyle Mirror expressed surprise: “Anyone else surprised Kathryn Bigelow not nominated for #ZeroDarkThirty? Another year of all-male Best Directors. #Oscars#OscarNoms.” https://twitter.com/lifestylemirror/status/289370185033474049
YouTube viewer Brainplay said Bigelow and her film simply did not rate: “…Let’s face it, Zero Dark Thirty was a mediocre movie posing as a documentary. Just like the Hurt Locker, it takes a lot of liberties and tries to push the idea that a single FEMALE rookie agent somehow found bin Laden mostly by herself. Over the top tough female is the key here as it’s what she’s pushing more than anything else. I mean seriously who says “motherfucker” to the SecDef when they meet for the first time?”
Advance courtesy copies of Zero Dark Thirty used for screening the film to early critical audiences like film critics and journalists, have been pirated and a few users (negligible volume) announced it online. Some of them are happy they have got an “illegal” copy. Others are annoyed that the director has apparently done little to stop it. The pirated version is DVDScr quality, which is slightly lower quality than a retail DVD-Rip. Learn more about pirated movie release types from this article on Wikipedia.
NervisRex expressed surprise that the film was available online: “Surprised she didn’t have anything to say about the fact her movie is already available online, before it’s even seen wide release, seeing how that is what she blamed the poor box office performance of her previous film on.” http://m.deadline.com/2013/01/zero-dark-thirty-movie-torture-controversy-debate/#comment-4543438
Carlee Andreas brags about having viewed the film ahead of its wide release: “Just saw Zero Dark Thirty illegally and it doesn’t even come out until Friday #winning #prettygood.” https://twitter.com/carzarddd/statuses/288895491092135936
Author of the bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army Jeremy Scahill joked about having a copy of the film before it was released: “Just got my “For Your Consideration” copy of “Zero Dark Thirty.” I’m told if I put a cloth on it & pour water on it, it leads to big things.” https://twitter.com/jeremyscahill/status/281839667282849792
*This Buzz Report is the first installation of a two-part report. Watch this space next month for Part II which will explore social media reactions in the Arab world.