Turkey’s Twitter Ban Sparks Outrage

Turkey’s Twitter Ban Sparks Outrage

Last week in class we discussed the possible benefits of Social Media in facilitating change in the world. The Arab Spring was one example of how Social Media platforms helped protesters organize to start a movement in the Middle East. While it is true that Social Media played a role in sparking the protests, I am not yet sure if the change that came about in Egypt is a positive one. With the lack of a legitimate opposition, Egypt is now under strict military control. The protests that aimed to bring about a legitimate democracy have effectively eliminated any form of democracy. 

The people of Egypt absolutely have the right to free speech, right to protest, and right to access information via the internet and social media. This is a fundamental human right of every person; however, social media is limited in terms of its use for the actualization of these rights because while it organizes “the masses” and “the people” to protest against corrupt government, dictatorship, or even tyranny, it happens so fast and in a disorganized manner that properly structured forms of government and alternate parties had no time to organize and respond to the uprising in a way that would benefit the people.

As part of our discussion, it was mentioned that social change takes time to happen, and I agree that this is true. However, I think that the people in Egypt are in a worse position to organize and protest while under strict military control. Getting organized in Egypt is going to be harder than ever now. An example of this is the situation in Turkey this week where massive blockages to Twitter and the Internet have sparked outrage against the government. The tool that has the potential to free people can also have the potential to keep citizens in the dark.

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2 thoughts on “Turkey’s Twitter Ban Sparks Outrage

  1. I always appreciate your thoughtful contribution and insight into our discussions. While not everyone in the class has the opportunity to write about our class discussion — many don’t have blog topics that allow them to post — I am glad that you choose to. In this case, your posting is more in-depth than you had the chance to present during class. I do agree with everything you say here. I don’t know the answer to this. I do think that change usually takes time and usually comes with much hardship. We certainly don’t know how the situation in Egypt will end. To sound cliche, social media is a double-edged sword.

  2. I agree social media can be a double-edged sword. Ultimately I think that it comes down to who holds the power. This may be playing out in Turkey right now. The government found a way to block access to Twitter and the Internet, while the people responded with their own creative measures to gain access; however, ultimately the power lies with the service providers and the creators of the platforms. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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