Talk hosted by Global Digital Citizenship Lab considers online censorship in Turkey

Global Digital

A talk exploring the increase of information control in Turkey, and the subsequent resistance from the public, comes to York University on Wednesday, May 2 from 2 to 4pm in the Qualitative Research and Resource Centre (QRRC) at N141 Ross Building.

Presented by the QRRC’s Global Digital Citizenship Lab (GDCL) and Academics for Peace (Turkey-Toronto), the talk “Online Censorship and Forms of Resistance: Experiences from Turkey” features two guest speakers.

Bülay Dogan, from the Centre for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will present “Online Implications of Criminalization: Framing Hacktivism in Turkey,” while Daghan Irak, from the Médialab, Sciences Po in Paris will present “Criminalizing Dissent in Turkey: How the Offline Prevailed over the Online.”

The discussant for the event is York University PhD candidate Gülay Kilicaslan from the graduate program in sociology and GDCL.

The talk looks at the rise of authoritarianism in Turkey and how the Turkish state has intensified its control over information and communications technologies over the past decade. Increasingly, the AKP government perceives the Internet, particularly social media platforms, as a threat to its rule and thus a target of censorship and control on many levels.

Various policies, strategies and techniques have been used to this effect, including restricting or denying access, content filtering, monitoring and manipulating online behaviour through government-sponsored online trolls, online spying, arresting and imprisoning citizens based on their social media posts, as well as leveraging social media platforms to the government’s advantage. At the same time, the Turkish state has encountered many forms of resistance, with progressive actors and communities developing ways to bypass online censorship.

Given this context, the panel brings together members of Academics for Peace to shed light on the digital repertoire of control, criminalization, contention and hacktivism present under authoritarian regimes in general, and the case of Turkey, specifically.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Sociology’s Qualitative Research and Resource Centre and York Professor Fuyuki Kurasawa, the York Research Chair in Global Digital Citizenship.

Note: If the labour disruption at York University continues and coincides with this talk, the event will be relocated to the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at 252 Bloor St. W.