As Erdogan Faces Turkish Coup, The Guy Who Once Banned Social Media Sites, Forced To Address Nation Via Facetime & Twitter
from the digital-irony dept
We’ve written a fair amount about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Lately, it’s mostly been about his ridiculously thin skin over insults, and his willingness to take his hurt feelings international. But, even prior to that, he had a history of irrational hating on social media. Back when he was Prime Minister, he tried to blame Twitter for social unrest, even going so far as to order it banned in the country. And, when that failed, he actually sued his own government over the failure to block content on Twitter that he disliked.
Now, as you hopefully know from news sources other than Techdirt, as I write this, it appears that there’s a military coup going on in Turkey, trying to usurp Erdogan. As part of that effort, all those social media sites that Erdogan himself does not like, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being blocked. For Erdogan himself, that’s meant that he’s been cut off from his own means of communication to the public, leaving him to use Apple’s Facetime to call a local TV station to put him on the air:
Turkish TV broadcasts a message from Erdogan claiming he's in control and will punish the coup leaders pic.twitter.com/8grmFarUfl
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) July 15, 2016
And, of course, the social media blocks aren’t even that effective anyway — with many Turkish citizens using VPNs to get around the blocks. Plenty of people are now seeing live coverage of what’s happening in Turkey thanks to Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope.
— Chemi Shalev (@ChemiShalev) July 15, 2016
The revolution will be televised – extraordinary scenes from Ataturk airport on Periscope pic.twitter.com/LIgByX6OwC
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) July 15, 2016
I have no idea how this will turn out, but from the perspective of how the internet has changed the media landscape, this is all fairly incredible to watch as it plays out.
Update: And the irony gets thicker. Erdogan is now reaching out to the public… via Twitter: