When The Twit Hits the Ban

“Twitter, schmitter!” That’s a rough translation of what Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as he attempted to completely block Twitter from his country. Erdogan (who has more than 4 million followers) is facing a scandal related to some recordings widely discussed on social media. His reaction: “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.” Over the summer, Erdogan referred to social media as society’s “worst menace.” What happens when a country like Turkey bans Twitter? Well, for one thing, a Twitter explodes with negative opinions about the move. Maybe Erdogan should have just unfollowed his critics.

+ A couple days ago in the NYT, Zeynep Tufekci wrote an opinion piece on the limits of social media-powered revolutions that often wither away. “This muted effect is not because social media isn’t good at what it does, but, in a way, because it’s very good at what it does.”

+ Two days later, Tufekci found herself reacting to the Turkish ban: “What happened next should be a lesson to any modern country that wants to ban social media after it’s already been incorporated into everyday life … People in Turkey had banned the ban.”

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