As Turks continue to stand guard in public squares since the failed July 15 coup attempt, the "democracy watch" has not lost its popularity on social networks or the internet. While people from seven to 70 from different segments of society and political ideology gather for democracy watch, they continue to share their experiences on social media via their smartphones. Turkish citizens share photographs and videos on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter as they protect their democratic rights. I had a chance to visit Microsoft Cybercrime Center located inside the company's campus in Seattle as a part of Microsoft's Imagine Cup event. According to the experts at the center, social media users share 1.8 billion photographs every day. These posts reach their peak on special occasions and the same special occasion is currently happening in Turkey during the democracy watch.
Turkish flag back on selfies
Young generations continue sharing photographs, mostly selfies, on Facebook and Instagram and upload videos on Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook. In the background to the videos and photographs, the Turkish flag takes center place and brings the spirit of solidarity to online platforms. Young people, who use Snapchat, a popular application for video and photo sharing, share their snaps and enthusiasm with their friends. Even without checking the recent numbers on Turkish people's posts, the numbers which were already high definitely hit the ceiling.
Posts on Facebook and YouTube also created new social media personalities. The video featuring Istanbul Municipality's truck driver from the Black Sea region driving a tank has broken records, showing that the video sharing has reached its peak.
Facebook indispensable for Turks
Facebook is a favorite social media platform of the Turkish nation. Moreover, the average age of Facebook users as well as photograph and video sharers has increased considerably. The increase in Facebook's 2016 global usage report is very striking. The number of users who connect to Facebook via their mobile devices increased by 22 percent average per day compared to the same time last year. The report released by Facebook also revealed that each month more than 1.7 billion people and each day more than 1.1 billion people use Facebook. It is also discovered that the time each individual spends on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger increased by double digits in the second quarter of 2016. Additionally, more than 60 million business managements use their Facebook pages actively every month. According to the report, the number of people who use Instagram actively every monthly is 500 million while 300 million people log in to the platform every day. On the other hand, the number of active users of Messenger and WhatsApp stands at over 1 billion.
Show kindness in your post, let kindness win
The posts shared on social networks during the heated times of the failed coup attempt are dominated by disagreement. As time passed, everybody began to launch and participate in campaigns to help the families of martyrs and stress the importance of unity and solidarity. The moderate contents of online posts caused political parties to take joint action in this tough time. Even the spectators of different sports club who do not come together under any circumstances began to join together in the public squares and the spirit of unity and solidary reflected itself in sports as well.
GSM operators continue campaigns
GSM operators in Turkey - Turkcell, Türk Telekom and Vodafone - ensured the internet worked and that people continued their posts from the first day people flocked to the public squares. To enable users to continue posting without concerns over quotas, all GSM operators included additional internet packages. Türk Telekom, on the other hand, created free of charge Wi-Fi spots near public squares where people gathered.
Be aware of safety!
As we learned during our Microsoft Cyber Crime visit, the number of devices and users affected from malicious software is increasing. It is highly possible for your computer, tablet or phone to be attacked by malicious software, especially when you are using your device on public Wi-Fi spots. It is important not to do any bank transactions on these Wi-Fi spots. Furthermore, avoid using easily guessed passwords, such as your birthday or the date when your football team was founded, to prevent others from taking over your social media accounts. As everybody is all ears about the recent developments of the failed coup attempt, you might come across malicious software via links sent on social media or e-mail.