NDAA protest hits Twitter during debate

While the presidential candidates stayed silent on the act, Anonymous helped trend #stopNDAA

By Natasha Lennard

Published October 23, 2012 11:56AM (EDT)


Among the trending Twitter hashtags during Monday night's debate, #StopNDAA rose to prominence alongside #HorsesAndBayonets. The trend had little to do with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's foreign policy debate, during which the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its troubling indefinite detention provision got no mention. With the awareness that neither candidate would touch upon it, online activists took it upon themselves to push the issue on Twitter.

The campaigning group Stop NDAA originally proposed the tweet jacking protest via their site, noting "both parties are colluding in denying you your First and Fifth amendment rights under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, and both candidates refuse to discuss this bipartisan assault on civil liberties."

On Monday an online post linking itself to Anonymous encouraged users to post tweets using the hashtag #stopNDAA alongside information about the act and its provisions, which the Obama administration has actively tried to defend against  injunctions. The Anonymous post also directed readers to a number of NDAA-related stories, including a July Op-Ed from Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, about how the act "authorizes war with Iran" and news on the lawsuit brought against the act's indefinite detention provision by plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges.

By 9.30 p.m. ET, #stopNDAA was trending and, according to a hashtag analytics site, the phrase hit 31,600 tweets per hour during the debate.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Anonymous Chris Hedges Hashtag Indefinite Detention Ndaa Presidential Debates #stopndaa Twitter