Twitter Has Moral Responsibility to #StopAliyev

Twitter—the social network that allows 140-character posts from anyone, anywhere, about anything—rose to public policy prominence by “helping” organize the Arab Spring revolution and spread truths about minorities suffering awful mistreatments across several continents.

stopaliyevThis “giving voice to the voiceless” achieved universally positive endorsements of the Twitter platform, and has helped earn the company a reputation as one helping the Davids face Goliaths. Understandably, these endorsements have been welcomed by Twitter’s hierarchy, including co-founder Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo, who have on numerous occasions admitted they are proud of the evolution of their communication platform.

However, what should happen when Twitter starts being used by Goliaths to bully Davids? What should happen when those with a voice use Twitter to crush the voiceless? What should happen when Twitter’s “positive” influence on public policy turns “negative”?

This week, oil-rich Azerbaijan dictator Ilham Aliyev, used Twitter to declare war on the Christian Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh.

Some background for those not familiar with the region and its problems: Nagorno Karabagh, also known as Artsakh, was historically part of Armenia until it was handed to Azerbaijan by Joseph Stalin. Despite this, the region maintained a majority Armenian population, who lived oppressed under Azeri rule until the 1990s. This was when man, woman and child decided enough is enough, and grabbed anything resembling a weapon to defend their rights to sovereignty.

After a bloody war, a ceasefire was negotiated between Armenia, Nagorno Karabagh and Azerbaijan, which resulted in a referendum where the population of Artsakh voted overwhelmingly to exercise their right to self-determination and declare the birth of the barely recognized Republic of Nagorno Karabagh (NKR).

Despite this vote, and the 1994 ceasefire watched over by international bodies hoping to achieve a lasting treaty to deliver peace to the region, Azerbaijan has remained aggressive, with Aliyev constantly threatening to wipe it free of Armenians while building up military armor with its petro-billions that would threaten most nations.

Now, 20 years into the ceasefire, Aliyev is getting pesky and threatening to turn his war words into action.

In the last week, years of threats and minor border skirmishes turned into full-blown acts of war, when Azerbaijan started moving their heavy armor into key military positions while launching ground offensives to test the Armenian front-line.

Aliyev was quiet during these tests, until in the last 24 hours, when he took to Twitter to declare war and insight racial hatred among his Turkic citizens against the Christian Armenians they neighbor.

Some of his tweets are embedded below:

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This is only a sampling of his 50+ tweets designed to bully this small nation, which deserves the same right to self-determination as all other nations, regardless of size and might.

As a technologist, who was brought up in the era where the Googles of the world had slogans like “Don’t be evil,” I wonder where Twitter stands in all of this?

Unlike the “positives” of Twitter during the Arab Revolution, Tsunamis, etc., I don’t expect a Charlie Rose interview with Dorsey or Costolo, where they are asked if they are proud to see their platform being used for war-mongering, bullying and hate speech by an oil-rich fundamentalist and racist dictator.

While I am sure they are not proud, I ask: what are they going to do about it?

Should they allow Twitter to be used by Goliaths against Davids? By those with a voice threatening to crush the voiceless? What should happen when Twitter’s “positive” influence on public policy turns “negative”?

I think the answer is simple. “Don’t be evil” and don’t allow evil.

Ban Aliyev from Twitter to help #StopAliyev and empower only those who deserve empowerment.

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Haig Kayserian

Haig Kayserian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU). He has previously held several leadership positions in the Armenian-Australian community. Haig holds a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Macquarie University. He is an investor in internet technology startups.
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9 Comments

  1. I am not so sure.
    Aliyev’s tweets make him look bad. They let others know what an esh he is. People who might not otherwise know of the dictator’s aggressiveness now know.
    The tweets embarrass Aliyev’s strongest supporters: The US, Israel, the Jewish diaspora, the UK, Georgia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and, of course, Armenia’s alleged “ally”: Russia.
    I sort of like Aliyev making an idiot of himself, just as I like to see a lot of corruption in Azerbaijan.

  2. {“Ban Aliyev from Twitter to help #StopAliyev and empower only those who deserve empowerment.”}

    Mr. Kayserian:

    This has nothing to do with empowerment: this is infowars, a component of total spectrum warfare that our enemies are engaged in.

    This level of Pro-Armenian and Anti-Turkbaijani publicity could not be _bought_ by Armenians for millions of dollars.
    Every one of these outbursts is another proof to the neutral 3rd parties that these nomadic savages will cut every Armenian alive to pieces if they ever get the chance: therefore, there can never be any so-called ‘concessions’. First concession will be used by the nomads to strengthen their positions, and murder more Armenians. Then nomads will ask for more concessions, until there are no indigenous Armenians left in their homelands.

    What are his tweets going to do, up the level of hatred against Armenians in Azerbaijan ?
    They were practically dancing in the streets in Baku when the psychopath axe murderer ‘returned home’ as a ‘triumphant hero’ – for murdering a sleeping Armenian man at a peace conference.
    They tortured and murdered a 77 year old man suffering from dementia.
    They invaded Armenian lands, abducted a 17 year old Armenian schepherd boy, stabbed him multiple times, and dumped his lifeless body in the forest.
    What exactly are the Turks going to do to Armenians they have not done already ?

    Both Aliyev and Erdogan are the best thing that has happened to Armenians in a while: gifts that keep on giving.

    btw: the hysterical barrage of tweets is further indirect proof that they lost at least 25 goons KIA, probably a lot more (vs our tragic loss 6 Armenian young men).
    Word is that contrary to their usual lies, Ilham was in Baku during the attacks, and is currently in shock: the whole idea for the attacks was to win something, so he could go to Sochi and negotiate from a position of strength.

    • Avery, good points, I was also thinking that these tweets were a Godsend, if a war erupts, guess what the world public will first remember?

      In other bad news to the murdered Armenians you mentioned, unfortunately another Armenian got abducted in Tavush and kidnapped and sent to Baku, where he suddenly ended up dead… of course we all know he was murdered in cold blood, with an obvious violation of international law and human rights, but what is going to be done about it by the world community? Nothing, they will conveniently ignore it just like all other things Armenian.

    • Ay Va
      Unfortunately people like you have been brainwashed by the corrupted leader of Turkic herds in a fake nation of Azerbaijan!

  3. Right HagopD.

    Garen (Karen) Petrosyan was tortured, publicly humiliated, and then murdered by the Turkbaijani invadonomad terrorists.

    There are several videos available on the web showing in general terms what happened.
    He was first shown sitting down for tea at a table with some Azerbaijani villagers from whom he apparently had sought help after getting lost (….possibly because he was inebriated).
    They were chatting amicably.
    Garen looked a little confused (….not all there).
    Villagers appeared friendly.
    He was clearly wearing white tennis shoes then.
    Also a dark blue polo shirt and dark gray sports pants of some kind: no military clothing whatsoever.
    Next, Azerbaijan military and police show up.
    Interestingly, there is some scuffle between the villagers and the military/police: not sure what the scuffle is about, but might be the villagers are trying to prevent the military from taking Garen away.

    Then there is a really vile video of these cowardly invadonomads all dressed up in commando fatigues inside some offices, looking ‘tough’, forcing Garen to kneel down in front some cowardly invadonomad brass in specs*, who starts berating and hectoring the terrified civilian, who was clearly beaten and tortured beforehand.
    By this time the savages have dressed Garen in combat boots, and he is also wearing a combat load-bearing vest: to support their propaganda that he is a member of an alleged Armenian commando team.

    The whole Turkbaijani charade would be comical, if not for the vile murder of the young man.

    Interestingly, these cowardly savages looking tough, beating up and humiliating a defenseless Armenian man, are the same scum who ran like chickens when our guys ambushed them during the clashes past few days. According to our young conscripts, when they opened up on the invading goons, who were reportedly trained in Turkey, the ones who were not cut down immediately, dropped their gear and ran in panic, bleating like sheep.

    I saw a video of one of the WIA goons being treated in a hospital in Turkey (surprise !), crying like a little girl as he was describing the hot-lead reception they got from the natives.


    * the criminals even boasted about it in the headline on their Russian language website: {Армянский диверсант на коленях перед генералом Ровшаном Акперовым/Armenian saboteur on his knees before the general Rovshan Akperova}

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