'He's fragile': Jacinda Ardern backers bite back as #TurnArdern trends on Twitter

Jacinda Ardern's fans are trying to counter a trending hashtag on Twitter that encourages the Prime Minister's critics to hide copies of books and magazines featuring her on the cover.

The hashtag, #TurnArdern, is currently trending in New Zealand on Twitter - with one of the top trending videos showing stacks of magazines featuring Ardern on the cover being picked up and hidden from sight.

"It's been a tough day out in the field," the video, posted on Saturday by a self-declared "Trump supporter", is captioned. "I only hope our other operatives have been equally successful with operation #TurnArdern."

The video - which has more than 21,000 views - shows someone hiding copies of the Australian Women's Weekly December 2019 edition, which features a cover story interview with the Prime Minister.

Ardern's critics have also been posting videos showing copies of journalist Michelle Duff's book Jacinda Ardern: The Story Behind an Extraordinary Leader, being turned over in bookstores.

"My first effort. Just turning the book," a critic wrote.

In one video, a copy of the book on display is removed and replaced with a soft toy. 

Paper Plus confirmed to Newshub that it has happened in a couple of stores across New Zealand. 

One Twitter user described #TurnArdern as a "people's passive resistance" to increased poverty, KiwiBuild failures, and "all health outcome reduced and worsened".

Ardern's fans are pushing back against the trend, with their own hashtag #ReturnArdern - a nod to the 2020 general election in which Ardern will compete for a second term as leader.

"I bought 3 copies of the [Women's] Weekly, and an extra copy of the book, having originally purchased 2 copies," an Ardern supporter said on Twitter. "As a negative act, we turned this into a positive act."

Others responded to the #TurnArdern hashtag with memes making fun of the critics, with captions such as "He's fragile"; "What a bag of tools"; "Pathetic"; and "What are you, seven?". 

"I don't usually buy women's [magazines] but will be making an exception," an Ardern supporter said.

Another Twitter user, who claims to be right-wing, suggested the #TurnArdern movement was not something he supports.

"Am I the only right-winger who thinks this whole #TurnArdern thing is silly and petty?"

In another post, an image of the 2014 book John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister is captioned with: "Don't [you] just love this!" the image is captioned.

The image was first published in 2014 by Kim Dotcom.  

"If [#TurnArdern] is such a good idea, you'll love this," the image is captioned.

Bauer Media Group, the company that owns the Australian Women's Weekly magazine, has been contacted for comment.

Newshub contacted Whitcoulls to find out if the hiding of books and magazines is having an effect on sales, but all comments must go through the head office and Newshub did not hear back before publishing this article.

The Prime Minister has been contacted for comment. She is expected to be asked about it at her Monday afternoon post-Cabinet press conference.

As of Monday morning, there had been more than 1000 #TurnArdern tweets.