Lets talk about Turkey, tech and politics. Last night when Turkey happened I went to Twitter to get on board with the conversation. One of the tweets I saw was had this black screenshot by @epreve, saying Turkey shut off the internet, which turned out it didn’t, as you’re going to see:
It’s was all wrong as there were tweets that were coming from Turkey showing the internet is on, and that this screenshot may have been the government’s attempt to shut of the internet, or just a false tweet. My friend Tomer Cohen got this first.
But really, what we saw from Turkey symbolizes a paradigm shift in tech, news reporting and in taking power:
You all know the phrase: “The Revolution Will be Televised”. So after Egypt’s 2011, it became “The Revolution Will be Tweeted”. The first thing I remember I thought, and the people on TV said was, look at Erdoğan, he’s been downgraded to the size of an iPhone screen, how lame, how low, how degrading.
Success, not failure
But the fact is- Erdoğan outmaneuvered the soldiers that took over the local TV stations, and by using a simple FaceTime, he told the people of Turkey to get out to the streets and crash the coup. He disrupted what we consider “power transfer” during revolutions like this. It became the day when controlling TV stations became almost irrelevant.
Yes, he used a TV station to broadcast, but it was an international station, he could have used any other TV station as well. The main point is he showed us how he hacked the shit of of the 20th century tactic of taking control of TV stations in a coup, and it worked. Controling a TV station was just downgraded from “100% must” to “95% must”. It doesn’t matter if you have a studio in front of you, you are the studio, you are the media, and the selfie is the king.
The new TV
Talking about TV stations, at least in Israel, the main channels (1,2,10) stayed mostly with local turkish TV feeds and the international Al Jazeera live feed, and only from time to time showed videos from people on the streets, either Facebook Live or Periscope, but they didn’t use it as a major source.
The big deal was non other than Facebook live. People in Turkey were opening their Facebook live and becoming live broadcasters and live sensors from everywhere. This way you could track in realtime where the major event were taking place, and where people are going in realtime. As an ex-journalist, I would have made this a topic in this long night, instead of rerunning the same wide angle shots taken from the bridge or from the tower. Imagine your TV would have shown you multiple live feeds happening at the same time on your screen. That’s drama, that’s great TV, that’s great news!
I wrote about this live on Facebook as it was happening. People were looking in the wrong places, i.e TV and headlines, whereas the drama, if you are not in Turkey, was happening on Twitter and Facebook, and not on TV.
Sarah Tuttle-Singer said it best: Forget headlines. Just follow hashtags.
Forget headlines. Just follow hashtags.
— (((Tuttle-Singer))) (@TuttleSinger) July 16, 2016
What happens when you tap into the right hashtag at the right time? You go viral, just like it happened to me last night, with this Tweet. I wrote: “So when u take over a country, u try to take over the airports. Well, the people of
#Turkey took over an airport”. And then it went viral, reaching a quarter million impressions on Twitter.
— Niv Calderon (@nivcalderon) July 15, 2016
The numbers mean nothing, they’re a tap on the back, and not even the main issue. But again, it shows you why you need to change your paradigm from how “regular” TV works and how it should work, AND- if you’re a politics freak (like I am), you get that things wont be the same after this Facetime broadcast happened, and that’s an amazing event to be a part of.