Turkish PM bashes social media for spreading ‘lies’ during weekend protests

Turkish PM

Turkish PM

Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan has slammed Twitter and social media in general for spreading “lies” following clashes between protesters and police this past weekend.

Demonstrators in Istanbul took over the city’s Taksim Square after attempts to disrupt a sit-in aimed at preventing a park in the district from being redeveloped escalated into nationwide anti-government protests. More than 100 people were injured as police attempted to disperse crowds using water cannons and tear gas.

Amid the chaos of the protests, reports started circulating that the government was disrupting internet connectivity. Sluggish service was put down to crowding and, during an interview (Google Translate link) Edrogen lashed out in response to allegations, focusing especially on the role Twitter had played:

There is this curse called Twitter. It’s all lies….That thing called social media is the curse of society today.

All these lies [on social media]. [Refers to some false rumors]. You write all that, not everyone sees the correction.

Social media has become increasingly important for keeping people informed during mass protests, but it can result in serious confusion and misreporting. I cases such as Turkey experienced over the weekend however, patchy reporting can mean that it’s the only source of information people have available to them.

As The Next Web notes, for instance, CNN international was showing footage of the clashes around the country while CNN Turkey showed cooking shows.

There is also some irony in Erdogan’s statement, given that he has some 2.7-million followers on Twitter as well as 2-million Likes on Facebook. As is the case with many politicians however, his accounts are managed by his team rather than him personally.

Image: Randam (via Wikimedia Commons)



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