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The Intersectional Internet

Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online

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Edited By Safiya Umoja Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes

From race, sex, class, and culture, the multidisciplinary field of Internet studies needs theoretical and methodological approaches that allow us to question the organization of social relations that are embedded in digital technologies, and that foster a clearer understanding of how power relations are organized through technologies.
Representing a scholarly dialogue among established and emerging critical media and information studies scholars, this volume provides a means of foregrounding new questions, methods, and theories which can be applied to digital media, platforms, and infrastructures. These inquiries include, among others, how representation to hardware, software, computer code, and infrastructures might be implicated in global economic, political, and social systems of control.
Contributors argue that more research needs to explicitly trace the types of uneven power relations that exist in technological spaces. By looking at both the broader political and economic context and the many digital technology acculturation processes as they are differentiated intersectionally, a clearer picture emerges of how under-acknowledging culturally situated and gendered information technologies are impacting the possibility of participation with (or purposeful abstinence from) the Internet.
This book is ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in Internet studies, library and information studies, communication, sociology, and psychology. It is also ideal for researchers with varying expertise and will help to advance theoretical and methodological approaches to Internet research.
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Chapter Ten: The Nation-State in Intersectional Internet: Turkey’s Encounters With Facebook and Twitter

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CHAPTER TEN

The Nation-State in Intersectional Internet: Turkey’s Encounters With Facebook AND Twitter

ERGIN BULUT

 

INTRODUCTION1

After meeting with the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, Joel Simon (2014), the head of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), wrote an article for the Guardian emphasizing the extremely poor level of freedom of expression in the country. In his piece, Simon was confirming the findings of a comprehensive report on media policy and media freedom in Turkey that revealed the following: “The ideological conservatism of the judiciary; the institutional weakness of the parliament; and the lack of democracy within political parties render the government—and future governments—too powerful vis-à-vis the society and the media” (Kurban & Sözeri, 2012). Indeed, Turkish media is under such symbiotic state and corporate control that it has been defined as a “neoliberal media autocracy” (Akser & Baybars-Hawks, 2012). In this picture, social media has been useful to overcome conditions of state censorship. The Internet also produced outlets where journalists fired from mainstream media were able to write. However, the usefulness of social media has been equally precarious2 and this is linked to one of Joel Simon’s remarks that received less attention than it deserved. Simon highlighted how Erdogan differed from other heads of the state whom he regularly meets. According to Simon, the strategy of other politicians is to juxtapose the “responsible international press” vis-à-vis “reckless and irresponsible domestic media...

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