Attempted coup in Turkey results in social media clampdown

turkey coup social media turkish flag daniel snelson flickr
Daniel Snelson/Flickr (used under Creative Commons)
Turkey saw a widespread social media blackout on Friday during an attempted coup by the country’s military.

According to internet monitoring group Turkey Blocks, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were all temporarily down in the country. Live-streaming services such as Twitter’s Periscope, and Facebook Live reportedly continued to operate.

Twitter responded to the reports from its official policy account, tweeting that it wasn’t down but had instead seen a suspicious drop in its traffic. “We have no reason to think we’ve been fully blocked in #Turkey, but we suspect there is an intentional slowing of our traffic in country,” the social network wrote in its post, which was also retweeted by CEO Jack Dorsey.

Turkey’s military said on Friday that it had seized power, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the intervention would be put down, reports Reuters. A statement from the military on Turkish state television claimed that a “peace council” is now running the country, and that a curfew and martial law has been enforced. Tanks have reportedly been placed outside Istanbul airport, and all flights have been cancelled. Traffic has also been blocked on both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.

Turkey’s democratic government — now under siege — has been using the internet, and social media services it previously throttled to urge citizens to protest against the coup. Erdogan conducted a television interview with CNN Turk via FaceTime, with the presenter holding up an iPhone to the cameras in order to broadcast his message. In his statement to the country, Erdogan called on the Turkish people to “convene at public squares and airports” to protest the coup. CNN Turk has since reportedly been forced off the air by military forces, but continues to broadcast using Facebook Live. Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik has tweeted several statements condemning the coup, and urging people to “defend our democracy.”

Twitter has become a vital source of information from Turkey, with 1.85 million tweets on the topic. Twitter’s Periscope was also used by officials within Parliament to broadcast scenes from within the building as it was reportedly shelled or bombed.

This is a continuing story, and we will update it as further news emerges.

Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.