“A Menace That Is Called Twitter” Ctd

Brian Merchant shares some troubling news out of Turkey:

[Tuesday] night, police raided 38 homes where citizens who had tweeted messages sympathetic to the protests lived—16 were arrested.

Many of them are apparently teenagers. The local police apparently honed in on tweets they deemed to be propagandic, and traced them back to protesters’ IP addresses at home. Their purported crime? Using social media to “instigate public hatred and animosity.” In reality, that means tweeting out supportive words or encouraging fellow citizens to join upcoming demonstrations. …

This is the paranoid behavior of an autocratic regime; though it is unfortunately unsurprising, given the rampant police brutality that has wracked the nation over the last few days. It also demonstrates a terribly poor understanding of how social media works, as did Erdogan’s now-infamous ‘menace to society’ comment. The move is likely only to further incense protesters, generate more sympathy for them, and inspire the tech-savvy to block their IPs. Meanwhile, a social media post left by one of the protesters killed in action has helped transform him into a hero to the movement.

Previous Dish on Twitter and the Turkish protests here.