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Rising Voice of Silent Public: Social Media

Journal: Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 140-157

Keywords : Social Media; Facebook; Twitter; Public Opinion; Gezi Park in Taksim;

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Having a significantly different structure than the hierarchical broadcasting system of traditional media, social media has considerably altered the dynamics pertaining to information flow. Due to the capability of receiving instantaneous reactions from users, social media has undoubtedly been the most important medium of social organization by not only providing proximity as well as common areas of interest among individuals and societies, but also allowing millions of people to communicate simultaneously without any limitations of time and space. As the incidents in Tottenham in the UK as well as Egypt and Tunisia indicate, great changes have been experienced in the world so far thanks the use of Facebook and Twitter. In the same way, social media has gradually been a great power and enabled thousands of people to gather and get organized instantaneously with a single message. The power of social media has clearly been demonstrated during the public upheaval that emerged on May 31, 2013 as a result of the attempt to build a mall at Gezi Park in Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey. Most of the protesters were Facebook and Twitter users, between the ages of 19 and 30. However, there happened to be a vast participation from all segments of society. “Stand up! Call Film” produced by Taksim Gezi Park Society started to be shared immediately with English captions on Facebook pages as well as mobile phones. Apart from Twitter and Facebook, it reached millions of people with the use of other communication applications, such as Whatsapp, Skype, Ipad, Android and tablet computers. In addition to the comments written and shared in news sites on the Internet, thousands of sites were opened and also thousands of pictures were downloaded and shared in them in a matter of seconds. As the respective events have demonstrated, most of the information is obtained through visual elements, and films has the potential of dragging masses to common sensibilities, changing their thoughts and expressing much more than the incidents narrated with thousands of words. Based on the coil of silence theory, the purpose of our study to analyze the interactive role of the social media in Turkey, considered unique in the world, along with the Gezi Park incidents that took place with the participation of millions of citizens. Thus, a questionnaire has been circulated through the implementation of the descriptive method as one of the qualitative research methods. In this context, Twitter and Faceboook users constitute the corpus of our study. As for the sampling, 200 users between the ages of 19 and 30 have been chosen.

Last modified: 2014-12-17 15:47:40