Computational propaganda is a threat to democracy. Focusing on Turkey, our second objective aims to present compelling evidence on how misinformation and trolling campaigns can manipulate public opinion and hijack the democratic process. Studies focusing on Turkey will add a comparative dimension to research undertaken by the U.S scholars invited to our conference and may even lead to possible policy-making solutions in regards to CP.
Turkey presents an interesting case-study as it is a country that has been both the perpetrator and the victim of CP. As the perpetrator, there has been numerous accounts of coordinated attacks against critical citizens and independent media outlets. Although a centralized structure of political trolling is hard to pinpoint, there are many cases in which authorities collaborate with pro-government trolls. Women journalists are also subject to cyberbullying through political pretexts. The Reuter Digital Journalism Report, states that Turkey’s citizens are frequently subjected to fake news. Civil initiatives such as teyit.org attempt to counter misinformation campaigns but need greater support in order to be more effective.