On May 28th of 2013, events sparking from the eviction of a sit-in at Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park have turned into a nationwide movement of protests that widespread to over many cities in the country in a couple of days. Mainstream media’s initial attitude of resuming normal weekend programming and not broadcasting events have created an outrage resulting in a magnitude of complaints of affiliates of international networks such as CNN and BBC.
Social media have played a key role in this weeks long protests. People used social media to get organized, to share thoughts, photos and videos of events as they happen. With InsightRadar being a social analytics platform, we had the chance to closely monitor and analyze social media usage during the events.
Twitter has been the major source of distribution during this 10 day long period. The traffic have increased to a peek of 25 million messages on the 1st. of June which floats between 6 to 8 million in normal days.
InsightRadar platform excels in social network analysis. Our main focus is identifying influencers, opinion leaders by analyzing social interactions at massive scale. We have tracked and analyzed the social movement from twitter in realtime and created a video of visualization. In this footage, each circle represents a user and the link between them represents retweets. As people get retweeted, the radius and the color of their circle increase. Also occasionally, we invert our criteria to highlight the people who are actually retweeting.
The protests in Turkey created a tension between protesters and the government. So as not to indicate any person, we are not showing the names of the social media user accounts. It should be suffice to say that a well over 2.5 million distinct users have participated in the social interaction during the events.
When social media reflections of protests in Turkey is compared to other events, we have observed that people have shown a widespread immediate reaction in a very short time. Although a few actors and journalists tried to gain the initial attraction, it was the main body of social media users who have played and important role in making a local protest in Taksim Gezi Park become nationwide.