This is the 3rd part of our article series, which we started with the AKP’s announcement that it will make one or more of the social media arrangements this year under the title of “Disinformation”. The first two chapters of the AKP’s disinformation regulation and the state of disinformation in the world and what does the European Union do about disinformation? You can read under the headings.
What does the AKP plan to do?
As of its mission, the AKP has tried to block news sources in order to stop the public being informed and the dissemination of this information since the day it came. Because;
- Constantly banned rallies and protests in the squares
- He decisively took over the mainstream media and tried to control it.
- It has also tried to control the internet since 2007.
- Paralyze NGOs, associations by intimidation or infiltration. (we see that in IT NGOs closely)
You will see below, the Internet Law No. 5651, which one became active in 2007, has been changed 18 times in 14 years. AKP cannot get enough of changing, adding, removing, closing with illegal decisions. Because the character of the internet does not fit the AKP.
The tech guys who built the internet (we call them the fathers of the internet) tried to build a shared, decentralized structure. This decentralized and “common mind” structure has over time become “sharing” as the basic characteristic of the internet generation (some say generation Z, but I think there are those who put the internet at the center of their lives instead of those born after this date) and those who do not. For this reason, we are in the world of “Uber”, “AirBnb” type ventures, offices are shared, software development is shared, etc.
Today, we see this sharing structure of the Internet, which does not exclude anyone (LGBT+ or black or woman), in the approaches of young people. See what is doing workers of Google, Facebook and Apple.
This is a diametrically opposite approach to the AKP. For this reason, what we call “AKP’s Paradox” takes place. Young voters are reading or watching or negotiating, what AKP is doing over internet. If they can’t block the internet, for those who put the internet at the center of their lives (most of whom are young and will vote), it becomes clear what they are doing or failing to do, and they will lose votes. On the contrary, if they block it, they will lose even more votes since people hate to be not free.
AKP has no exit.
Germany model or Singapore model?
In the first days when AKP announced this new regulation, They were talking to have model of Europe. They would examine the models of France and Germany. 2-3 days ago, a person who was busy spreading the thoughts of the AKP to the society, called the “Singapore” model in his article. The most important component of the Singapore model is the “Prison Penalty”, which would not be considered in Europe at all. As well as 10 years something.
Isn’t it very impressive?
AKP tried to squeeze social media users by that the 18 changes it made in 14 years, tried to make the blocking fast and make it illegal (many institutions like Jokey Club without legal authority can make a decision to block URLs, how is it in the state of law), tried to tighten the articles, etc. etc. But it seems that he could not get the desired output from any of them.
For this reason, we will face a new strangeness now, but this strangeness will further contribute to the image of the AKP and the young people’s “we are not free” thought. If you ask what would have prevented it in return, we will say “water flows and finds its way”. The Internet is not easily blocked. Not to mention VPN.
Who will make the decision for disinformation?
AKP’s new social media regulation or its approach to disinformation, if we hadn’t seen the practices so far, it would be good to say. After all, we are in a country with Kurdish, Alevi, Secular and even Syrian fault lines. If you read the book “All Men of the Shah”, you will see that there was again disinformation and chaos in the overthrow of the Iranian prime minister, Mossadegh. Just like the “Arab spring” issue. When we look at it after 10 years of failure, we have not seen anything similar to “democracy” that caused the word “spring” to be used in these countries. The latest situation in Tunisia is in the table nowadays.
AKP’s motivation is based on not hearing the criticisms and not making them heard and not making the opponents talk. He controls the media, but not the internet and social media. Because the Internet is not just news. Today, e-Commerce, business, education etc. everything runs on the internet. Censorship, on the other hand, becomes dysfunctional due to facilities such as VPN and Let’s Encrypt. For this reason, they try to control the internet by blocking the internet infrastructure, leaving it at one-tenth of what it should be.
But they still can’t. Because P2P (Apps like Whatsapp, Zoom) or platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are places where everyone uses and is comfortable. They tried to control them (advertising revenues etc.) last year, but they couldn’t. Because the subject they said to open a representative office has become a comedy. Whether there are representations or not, if so, why are the so-called representatives not resident in Turkey?
It is not clear what they mean by disinformation.
It is not clear how and on what basis disinformation will be defined. So how and on what basis will it be determined or implemented? We will see these, but we already know what we will see. Everything against the AKP will be called “lie” and “disinformation”. On the other hand, let’s remind; In June last year, some 7,340 accounts from Turkey — which Twitter reported were intended to spread the President’s messages — were removed. In other words, the AKP seeks to thwart the opposition and spread its own message .
This time they are looking at what else we can do. However, it is understood that their aim is to prevent, intimidate (which is what they call social media detentions) and intimidate dissenting statements that would be beyond their own, and try to destroy them with the threat of punishment. Because we are heading towards an election where it is seen more and more that AKP is losing. They will try everything not to lose. Blocking criticism on social media through “intimidation” is one of them.
AKP’s test with social media
In the table below, you can see the changes made in the Law No. 5651 published in May 2007. What can be seen from this table is; 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 (4 times), 2015 (2 times), 2016 (3 times), 2018 (2 times), 2019, 2020 (2 times) 5809, 6495, 6518, 6527, 6552, 6639 The law has been amended 18 times in 14 years (if we count the one that is coming this year) since the day it was enacted, with the bag laws numbered 6757, 7188, 7226, 7253, with the Decree Laws numbered 661, 700, and 4 times with the Constitutional Court Decision .
Apart from these changes, they also have things to do in the technical field such as preventing the development of internet infrastructure, throttling bandwidth from time to time or blocking VPNs, pushing small operators out of the industry. And the other dimensions of the event are spyware and tracking software.
But why was it edited 18 times?
For example, last year, they put very controversial regulation on social media, made laugh the most of industry “Let’s see how they can do it”. It seems to be not working. Now again something is being pursued.
We said last year; they can’t. Let’s say it again this year, they can’t do it again.
Why can’t they do?
Because, first of all, the work they do is “contrary to the nature of the thing”. I wrote above, the more they block, the more they will sink.
They can’t do that because not using the power of common mind. They do by themselves and their own benefits. Not for the benefits of society.
After 18 arrangements, they are still looking at what they can do more.
What we see all; AKP is not governing the problems. We have seen this from fires, from power outages, from mucilage, from the state of the economy and the dollar.
But this post has a message. It is this;
“In the coming period –as the election approaches– we will see that disinformation will increase a lot. This will come from both the AKP and as you can see, there are many foreign organizations for disinformation, it will come from them. Do not spread messages that may have an impact.
And if possible, create a counter-organisation. It’s a voluntary organization that can clean it up, prevent such messages from causing havoc.”
Should we not use Internet nor social media?
One of my notes is: lately we talked about spyware all the time and got scared. Today, we are afraid to say that social media and the internet are a very suitable environment for disinformation. So, should we not use social media or the internet?
Of course not… go on to use…
Let’s explain this with a car analogy. Driving is also extremely dangerous. You may have an accident, suffer material damage, die or become disabled as a result of your incompetence or carelessness, not taking good care of your car, or as a result of something without any fault of yours.
What is the way to prevent this? You don’t have a 100% chance to completely prevent it. But you should drive by following the rules, always paying attention to the surroundings, not speeding unnecessarily, not putting other drivers in danger with sudden movements, and warning other drivers if necessary.
The same goes for the internet and social media. Follow the rules (not clicking unnecessary links, being careful with free applications, keeping your software up-to-date, etc.), be careful, carefully look at who you are forwarding or sharing, what topic you are supporting. Be careful when talking to people you don’t know.
But just as you don’t drive, you can’t go anywhere (or if you go in much more difficult conditions), you can’t go anywhere if you don’t use the internet.
In the next section, I will explain how it would have done if the AKP had aimed to pass a sincere disinformation law.