Social Media and Freedom of Expression Conference
Place: Istanbul Bilgi University, Dolapdere Campus Court Room
30 March 2013
An overwhelming boom in social media use around the globe has led to radical changes in the way contemporary societies share information. More than 500 million Twitter and 1 billion Facebook users, four billion views daily on YouTube and millions joining these numbers every day mean we have to accept that we now live in a completely different communication universe.
While social media, equips the individuals with unprecedented powers, the sometimes uncontrolled dissemination of written, oral and visual content to masses can lead to unforeseeable consequences. By removing the borders, internet carves the path for the revision of debates on globalization, law and democracy. Intellectual discussions shaping the twentieth century should be now re-evaluated in light of the digital media technologies, the transformation of the societies should be analyzed and the results should be discussed.
In pursuit of this goal, Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law and Heinrich Boell Stiftung Turkey Representation are organizing a conference to elaborate on social media in four different contexts, placing freedom of expression in the heart of the discussions. The aim of this scholarly gathering is to bring together competent names in their respective fields to have comprehensive discussions on the different aspects of this issue.
The first session will focus on the extent to which a dynamic area like the social media pushes the legal limits of freedom of expression and will examine the national and international legal arrangements and limitations.
In the second session, the focus will be on the role of the social media in political communication processes. How social media, a recent key player in political campaigns, could play a role in citizens’ participation to democracy, the emergence of concepts such as e-state and e-democracy will be among the subjects to be covered in this session.
The third session will be devoted to the discussion of the ways how democratic participation and citizens’ right to protest can be brought to virtual platforms. Activists who use social media in their attempts to social transformation, political opposition and uprising to political and financial giants will be sharing their experiences.
Finally, in the fourth session, the convergence points on which the use of social media meets journalism practices will be examined. The impact of social media applications, which are either integrated in the journalism process or developed as alternatives, on mainstream media will be evaluated and discussed from various perspectives.
Simultaneous translation in to Turkish and English will be provided during the conference except for the second panel where translation will be in to German and Turkish.
09.30-11.30 Panel I: Freedom of Expression, Internet and Social Media
Yaman Akdeniz, Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Law
Kerem Altıparmak, Ankara University Political Science Faculy
Fikret İlkiz, Lawyer
Moderator: Turgut Tarhanlı, Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Law
11.45-13.45 Panel II: Political Communication Processes and Social Media
Banu Akdenizli, Yeditepe University Department of Public Relations and Publicity
Lars Kreiseler, Alliance 90/The Greens Election Campaign Team Member, Berlin
Öznur Çalık, Justice and Development Party Communication Center (AKİM)
Moderator: Aslı Tunç, Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Communications
14.45-16.45 Panel III: Digital Activism and Social Media
Aslı Tunç, Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Communications
Jillian York, Director of International Freedom of Expression
Serdar Paktin, Turkey Campaign Specialist, Change.org
Emrah Uçar, The Others’ Post
Moderator: Esra Arsan, Istanbul Bilgi University, Institute of Social Sciences
16.45-17.00 Tea-Coffee Break
17.00-19.00 Panel IV: Publication Policies in Social Media
Yigit Kalafatoğlu, Utopic Farm New Media Agency
Nurcan Akad, Journalist
Volkan Çağsal, Publik Social Media Agency
Moderator: Sezai Ozan Zeybek, Scholar