The situation in Istanbul turned violent when police cracked down on peaceful protesters on Friday, May 31. The peaceful sit-in started five days ago where several tens of people gathered to oppose planned by the government urban reorganization of Istanbul’s only green spot: the Gezi Park. The brutality used by police forces ? teargas, water cannons,fists and batons ? to expel protesters from the park generated a broad outcry, as images of people including children and elderly sheltering themselves from teargas started flooding social networks.
by Joshua Tucker on June 1, 2013
The following post is provide based on research conducted in the past 24 hours by NYU?s Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) laboratory. It is written by lab members and NYU Politics Ph.D. candidates Pablo Barberá and Megan Metzger.
In 2011 the Occupy movement realized the fast, cheap, global scaling that one would expect in the digital age. The crowdsourced Occupy Research project recorded 488 separate occupy encampments around the world, and France 24 reported 951 encampments in 82 countries.
by Sungur Savran
Istanbul has become a battlefield covered by tear gas. The police, no doubt at the behest of the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP government, have been attacking protestors in the centre of the city, near Taksim Square, for five consecutive days. This would have been no news at all: Turkish police are famous for their brutality in dealing with demonstrations unwelcome to the government. Only a month ago, on May Day, they had dispersed a gathering of thousands of workers and unionists using tear gasunsparingly. So nothing new on the police front. This time is different for another reason.
Zeynep Tufekci’s essay analyzing the role that social media played in both the #OccupyGezi and the Arab Spring explores the differences and similarities between different uprisings, and has some very incisive things to say about what social media contributes to political change movements:
When I tell people I study social media, politics and social movements, I often get a version of the question: ?But there were protests before Facebook.? Sure, I say, but how did people hear about it? Word-of-mouth is, of course, one way but [in the modern era] it?s almost never
never fast enough to spread protest of news quickly enough?remember, a political protest is a strategic game with multiple actors including a state which often wants to shut them down. Too slow diffusion of information, and your people will get arrested faster than they can show up at all. History of modern revolutions is always mixed up with the history and the structure of the communicative infrastructure of technology.***