I really loved Zeynep Tufekci’s piece in Medium, and found it useful for both my own research project on Occupy Gezi, but also as a way to better understand what our relationship with the internet has become, and why this makes it so easy for others to take advantage of it. If the internet is recognized (as it is, in the 21st century, according to Tufekci) as the most convenient way for people to talk to one another, then it isn’t really difficult to understand why it is the most malleable. Tufekci turns the blame around at us, those of us who choose to put ourselves on social media with our Twitter accounts, our Facebook profiles, and our Instagram handles. To me, there’s a psychological aspect to Tufekci’s article too, because I believe that in addition to social media being attractive as a convenient way in which to communicate, it also fans our own egos to have 20 people retweet a post, or like a photo- and for these kinds of reasons, we are more eager to put ourselves online, opening ourselves up to potential vulnerabilities.
Tufekci also discusses the unifying effects of the protest, with her image of an elderly religious woman being comforted by a youth with tattoos and piercings. The protests have brought together different sects of Turkish society in an unprecedented way, and this is, in my opinion, Occupy Gezi’s greatest asset. It is not the 1980s student protests, which polarized college students, and earned the disdain of most, if not all, adults. It is a widespread fight for freedom that excites and includes multiple facets of Turkish society, which will make it all the more difficult to pin down and vanquish, despite the vulnerabilities imposed by social media and the internet.