ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s media watchdog has banned access to the Turkish services of U.S. public service broadcaster Voice of America and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, prompting criticism of censorship. The Supreme Board of Radio and Television enforced a February decision requiring international media that air television content in Turkish online to apply for a …
The initial group of Ak-trolls were, for the most part, bot accounts active on Twitter that shared computer-generated posts alongside a hashtag in favour of Erdoğan and his government’s policies. These accounts would create tweets using the hashtag and also interact/retweet with tweets using the same hashtags. A 2016 study published by the cyber security company Norton Symantec shows that among countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Turkey is the country with the most bot accounts on Twitter. However, as bot accounts are easily recognisable and prone to suspension from the platform, they were replaced by more advanced troll networks.
Since that first mass use of Ak-trolls, the trolls have changed their network styles and methods quite a bit. The government-controlled trolls have become the subject of many academic studies, newspaper articles and political discussions. In 2020, Twitter announced that it was suspending 7,340 fake accounts that had shared over 37 million tweets from its platform. In the name of transparency, Twitter shared information regarding the accounts with Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) prior to the announcement of the takedown of these accounts.