Each Friday, we take time to look outside the digital industry and look at how social media is affecting something else in our world. We all saw the Arab Spring rise over the past few years where the youth of countries rose and overthrew dictatorships with the tools of social media. Now, another country is following suit. Turkey's people are voicing their oppositions to the commercialization of a park, and in turn the leadership of their Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and gaining fuel thanks to the power of social media.
The Huffington Post shines a spotlight on how social media is proving to be the main source of information in the country on the uprising. Main stream media in the country is failing to cover the uprising, but those spreading the word on Twitter are subject to new rules and regulation that could change lives - including facing jail time for stating beliefs on the platforms, "have tried throwing users behind bars, legislating what can be said online, and even arguing that social media should be banned on religious grounds." The article also informs that Arabic is the #1 fastest growing language using Twitter. They also look at how countries beyond Turkey are trying to control the words of their citizens. In Kuwait, any words on social platforms against the emir is illegal. In the United Arab Emirates, users are threatened with imprisonment for posting content that is deemed to have endangered state security, criticized the nation and its leaders, or insulted Islam or other religions.
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