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Banning Twitter: A Brief History of Failed Online Authoritarianism

Banning Twitter: A Brief History of Failed Online Authoritarianism | MarketingHits |

Yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced an attempt to ”eradicate” Twitter. Today, The Guardian reported that Twitter users in Turkey have managed to send 2.5 million tweets since the announcement. That’s 17,000 tweets every minute being sent by Turkey’s roughly 10 million users. Many of them are using HootSuite—our traffic from Turkey has tripled in 24 hours.

Prior to the ban, much of the conversation among Turkish Twitterati was about corruption—that’s why Erdoğan wanted the network shut down in advance of the March 30th local elections. There’s still lots of conversation about official malfeasance, but now the government’s inept attempt at shutting down Twitter is, of course, a hot topic on Twitter.

Erdoğan is far from the first unpopular leader to try to block, ban, or “eradicate” Twitter. As soon as there are protests in the streets, every regime makes an effort to curb online communication. Twitter has earned a reputation as the medium of revolution partly because these attempts almost never have the desired effect. For context, here’s a brief history of previous #Fails:

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