Experts can discuss Turkish protests, role of Twitter in the unrest

June 3, 2013


ANN ARBOR—A wave of unrest has spread across Turkey as Twitter and other forms of social media have been used to share images and updates of clashes between protesters and police. The Turkish prime minister has accused Twitter of fueling the tensions, saying it’s a “menace to society.”

Professors at the University of Michigan are available to discuss the Turkish demonstrations and the role social media play in such eruptions. They include:

Scott Campbell, the Pohs Endowed Professor of Telecommunications and associate professor of communication studies, says that the protests in Turkey are the latest example of how Twitter and social media have emerged as powerful tools for personal expression and collective action. “Although social media have not caused political protest, they have certainly become an important ingredient in allowing people to voice their opinions and work together to challenge existing power structures,” he says. Campbell’s research examines the uses and consequences of new media. Much of his recent work investigates how mobile communication has the capacity to make people both more and less connected in both private and public realms of social life. Contact him at [email protected] or (734) 764-8106. Campbell discusses his research in this video:

Clifford Lampe, assistant professor in the School of Information, has lectured to professional audiences and students about how social media facilitate collective action, such as the Arab Spring. Contact him at [email protected] or (517) 515-2494. Information:

Paul Resnick, professor in the School of Information, says social media serve a coordination function in enabling mobilization, as was apparent in the Arab Spring. “But they are also a way of spreading ideas and nurturing grievances that mainstream media are not covering, and doing so more quickly than happens by word of mouth.” Reach him at [email protected]. More information:

Fatma Muge Gocek, professor of sociology and women’s studies, is currently in Turkey and can discuss the causes of the unrest. Her research interests include the impact of nationalism, religion and collective violence on minorities. Contact her at [email protected]. Gocek discusses Turkey’s concerns about the Syrian conflict in this video:


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