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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Be careful what you tweet from Turkey

If you use social media - particularly Twitter - from Turkey, you'd better be really careful about what you post. 25 people in Turkey have been arrested for spreading 'untrue information' on Twitter, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Best Friend Forever of Barack Hussein Obama) has called social media 'the worst menace to society' and claimed that the 'best lies' can be found on Twitter.

This is from the first link.
No one seems to have any idea exactly which tweets in question landed the offending users in jail—something that only highlights the fact that Turkey's main media outlets have been noticeably slow to give the protests the coverage they deserve (which, in turn, has left many Turks relying on the social media site for their updates). Regardless, the arrest of a couple dozen Twitter users is unlikely to deter the thousands of others using the social media site to voice their displeausre with Erdoğan any more than the several thousands of arrests on the streets is going to deter the mass demonstrations that are now occuring across Turkey.
And from the second link:
Social media has been an essential tool for Turkish protesters to skirt the tight-lipped government-run media. “The Turkish media should be ashamed. For the past 48 hours, the people have been waging a struggle and you have not reported anything about it. Shame on you,” said Fatih Akin, a prominent Turkish film director.
Indeed, over the weekend, government-run newspaper, Sabah, splashed the front page with a story of the Prime Minister receiving an award for combating smoking and made no mention of the country-wide protests that have been front-page headlines around the world.


Research by NYU Politics Ph.D. candidates Pablo Barberá and Megan Metzger have found that, unlike past protests such as Egypt, nearly all of the geo-located tweets are coming from within Turkey (90 percent). In other words, social media is a tool for the protestors themselves, not just a medium to show solidarity from citizens abroad.

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