The Impact of Social Media on Protests

This article discusses the use of social media by protestors in Turkey the past few months.  Unfortunately, the Turkish protestors have not been receiving the attention from press that they had hoped for and therefore have turned to social media as an outlet to spread their message.

The Turkish protestors were impressive with their social media activity.  The movement was able to lead the most popular hashtag on Twitter; “direngezipark” (which translates to “park, hold on”) was tweeted 1.8 million times in just three days.

The tweets mostly originated from civilians living in Turkey in the Turkish language.  However, Bosnia, Bulgaria and Brazil have also cross-referenced each other through shared protest hashtags in recent days.

Additionally, a group of Turkish friends in the Unites States created a free app, “Capulcu Tencere,” that simulates noise of protesters banging on pots and pans at 9pm each night out of solidarity with the movement.  The app was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first week.

The article also notes the use of “WhatsApp” for groups to communicate location and reconvene after being displaced by police.  Vine was also cited as being used to stream video since there was a lack of press.  Web forums have been created and used to discuss the protest and for people to come together.

It had been reported that the Turkish government reached out to Twitter and Facbeook for user information on protesters.  Both social media outlets are said to have rejected the requests.

After reading this article, are you surprised at the amount of impact social media can play with protestors in Turkey?  Though the Turkish press was not quick to cover the protests, social media was able to make a huge impact.  Do you think this will be the wave of the future and how do you think social media will have an impact upon future protests around the world?


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