The greatest good for the greatest number?

By Razib Khan | June 22, 2009 3:18 am

Neda2.jpgOver the past week the political events in Iran have saturated the news. But the reality is that Pakistan still has an enormous refugee problem, right next door to Iran in fact. It’s striking though that there is little news coverage of this at this moment, at the same time that the public and media’s imagination has been captured by the shocking death of Neda Soltai, the young Iranian woman whose death was caught on video.
Below the fold are the number of tweets on #neda vs. #pakistan (currently the #pakistan hash-tag is concerned with a cricket win by their national team).

You can look a the original chart here.

  • Cody

    Neda was young, pretty, clean, female, and looks like she could have been our neighbor. The official bad guys in this soap opera killed her, therefore it is only necessary that everyone lionize her. Every revolution needs a martyr. Neda didn’t volunteer. Thankfully, though, we have millions of Iranians and foreigners all the more willing to draft her essense as the symbol which will guide the galiant Iranian revolutinaries to victory.
    Refugees are ugly, dirty, poor, and worst of all, depressing.
    If refugees knew how to party, then maybe an NBC news crew would take the time to interview one or two. Right now the party is in Tehran.
    It sucks being poor.

  • Charles Iliya Krempeaux

    Here’s a hypothetical….
    Perhaps there is so much attention on Iran (rather than Pakistan) because the Government in the USA sees it in their interest to build up ill will towards the Government in Iran.[1]
    Perhaps that ill will be used as an “excuse” by Government in the USA to later attack Iran (and murder Iranians).
    [1] Note, I am not suggesting that the Government in the USA planned all this. But they may have nudged things along and taken advantage of the situation and are trying to paint a certain picture.

  • Zack

    Unfortunately people (and media) lose interest after a while. It would be more interesting to see if Pakistan tweeting peaked in mid-May when the refugee crisis hit.

  • Obongo

    pakistan makes a pretty strong showing here:

  • sg

    This child seems the real martyr of these Iranian protests.
    Disturbing photo of baby shot in the back. Website is not in English. Some comments are in English.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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