14 Temmuz 2020, Salı
Ana Sayfa EN Politics "The Green Dots" of Twitter in Turkey

“The Green Dots” of Twitter in Turkey

In the recent days, “green dotted” accounts on Twitter started to show up. With the call of -governing AKP’s deputy chair and Head of Publicity and Media- Mahir Ünal, thousands of party supporters continued using Twitter by adding a “green dot” and “Turkish flag” signs next to their usernames. However, what does the “green dot” on social media mean? Why do AKP members put a green dot on their Twitter profiles?

Mahir Ünal, AKP deputy chair and Head of Publicity and Media last week, asked those who promised to abide by the ethical rules in social media, by placing a green dot on their profile. In the following days, technologist Onur Mat examined this trend on his blog, after the many offensive and unethical posts these green dotted profiles had shared before was brought in to the agenda.

Onur Mat, who closely examined the profiles of 10.000 Twitter users that had a green dot or posted a green dot in their posts, evaluated the opening times of the accounts by matching them with significant dates.

WHEN WERE THE GREEN DOTTED ACCOUNTS OPENED?

When we evaluate the opening times of the accounts associated with the green dot with the significant dates for the campaign, it is seen that the number of daily new account openings had increased in line with the campaign dates but there has been a decrease since March 16.

When these accounts are analyzed, it is possible to find that some of them are trolls & bot accounts that are opened in a coordinated fashion from one center, and some of them are personal accounts that have added a green dot to get followers by taking advantage of the “follow-spree”.

HOW DO THE “GREEN DOT” DEFINE THEMSELVES?

The most mentioned expression in the profile definitions of green dotted accounts is “AK Party” followed by “Fatherland,” “Atatürk,” “Allah”, “Turkey”, and “Turkey” and “Erdogan”.

In the profile definitions in the sampling, AK Party is referred 15 times more than CHP and 25 times more than IYI Party. MHP slogans are commonly seen in the profiles (such as “state or rally of the raven”), however MHP itself is not mentioned in the profiles.

Among the football teams mentioned in the green dotted accounts, Galatasaray (70) and Beşiktaş (49) follow Fenerbahçe (80), stand out as the most mentioned teams. In terms of origins of provinces for the users, the ranking goes as Ankara (57), Trabzon (30), Bursa (26), Istanbul (24), Malatya (21).

It is also noteworthy that when compared to the density of population, in Istanbul where approximately 15 million citizens reside there are 24 people mentioning the location on their profiles while in Ankara with 5.6 million residents there are 57 people mentioning on profile, and in Trabzon with 810.000 population there are 30. The people of Trabzon are talking about their city in highest proportion to the population. Trabzon is followed by Malatya.

WHAT HAD HAPPENED?

As stated by Murat Yetkin, the following developments have occurred since January:

January 30: Erdogan’s complaint that social media is “completely uncontrolled”.
February 10: Erdogan’s “social media is a complete dump” speech.
May 5: Addressing the issue of social media control at the AK Party Central Executive Committee meeting.
May 7: Opening of the ‘ethics committee’ account.
May 12: Mahir Ünal’s call for a green dot.

Researcher Onur Mat, on his apparent results, said, “For the time being, the majority of the green dotted accounts are accounts that can be measured through their closeness to AK Party or MHP. Calling for ethical sharing on social media is of course not categorically negative. However, it can be expected that this will turn into a type of ‘community pressure’ tool in terms of freedom of expression and diversity.”

MURAT YETKİN: WHEN THINGS GO OUT OF HAND

In his article on the subject of the green dots, Yetkin Report pointed out that the initiative, which was started with a reason such as “dominating the moral principles in social media”, has started to be blown away to different places from the very first day. The immoral ones had started to do the same work under the hashtag ‘#NationalAccountsHere’ and continue under the green dot and the Turkish flag. The trend quickly turned into a wave of threats, especially with the target of female journalists and politicians, with a very rude, embarrassing language. Our journalist friends Nevşin Mengü, Özlem Gürses, artist Berna Laçin, politician Canan Kaftancıoğlu are just a few of those who have become the target of attacks that cannot be even uttered.”

Graphics: Onur Metin
Translation: Gürkan Özturan

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