Saturday, December 8, 2012

Social Media Trend in Turkey

Turkey has relatively bad score in freedom of speech and press; however, thanks to social media, people find new ways to express their thoughts and feelings. Also, people can reach unbiased and true news through social media. According to statistics, the number of social media users in Turkey exploded; its ranking in Facebook using is 4th and in Twitter is 8th in the world. These numbers have made social media an important rival for Turkey's mainstream media.

People use Twitter, blogs, and other social media tools to get news from what they believe trustworthy people or institutions. Some television channels and newspapers, voluntarily or involuntarily, have started to perform self-censorship. Personally I believe that, as in other parts of the world, people are puzzled with, maybe thousands of news and thoughts every day, for a single issue. People have become indecisive for almost every hot topic. Even, some people started to act as journalists themselves.   

One example clarifies how main stream media refrain from informing people for some issues. On December 29, 2011, on Turkey's border with Iraq, 35 Turkish citizen Kurdish smugglers, most of them teenagers, were killed in a Turkish airstrike, allegedly they were presumed as member of Kurdish rebel group PKK. In the early morning, people started to disseminate the incident and posted the pictures of the people killed by the warplanes on Twitter and Facebook. Until evening, mainstream media did not put that news on their websites. It is media’s responsibility to spread such a big incident; however, they neglected to publish this issue.

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