Friday, March 21, 2014

A lesson for Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan -- the Net routes around censorship

Yesterday, I gave my class a presentation on citizen journalism. Today, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan provided a terrific example when he declared his intention to "eradicate Twitter" and went on to block access to their site.

The futility of that act was soon apparent -- Twitter and others published technical tips showing how Turks could continue using Twitter -- and they did.

Politicians -- the President of Turkey, the Mayor of Ankara and the vice-president of the EU commission -- also spoke out against the move by Erdogan.

As the saying goes -- the Net routes around damage. The hashtag #TwitterOlmadanYaşayamam (I can't live without Twitter) soon rose to the top of Twitter's worldwide trending topics.

Internet-based citizen journalism has played a role in politics for nearly a quarter century, but both bad guys and good guys use it as a political tool. I may be naive, but when historians look back years from now, I think the good guys will have won.

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