Robot witch hunt starts on social media against shady lobby after Erdoğan’s tip-off
Simon TAGE ISTANBUL
Robots had apparently been using social media as a weapon to damage the Turkish government. As Erdoğan puts it: 'The robot lobby that they set up on social media hits with tweets. They tell them to increase the number of tweets.'Social media users are unplugging and running for the hills after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan disclosed that a nefarious “robot lobby” had sworn to liquidate his government and darken Turkey’s new dawn, touted as a beacon of hope for the wretched of the earth.
The news carried the weight of a falling asteroid on the heads for tweeps who understandably felt used and betrayed by some of their most cherished childhood heroes, such as See-Threepio and R2-D2, after the prime minister’s revelations.
In a Damascus moment, the scales fell from the eyes of duped tweeps as they listened to Erdoğan speak under the admiring gaze of his lawmakers – naturally following the customary bashing of the opposition and the “parallel state” – explaining that, in fact, ill-willed robots had been leading the way in the plot against the AKP’s ushering in of a glorious period of justice and development.
The malevolent robots had apparently been using social media as a weapon, firing tweets just like hadoukens at the face of the country’s benevolent leader.
Not content with that, the robots have also been determined to have blazed a trail for a massive axis of evil lobbies, which of course also includes the mother of all lobbies, the “Interest Rate Lobby,” which sparked last year’s Gezi protest because it could not come to terms with Turkey’s economic efflorescence (sic), according to the AKP.
The lobby run by the preacher, that is, Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, but also a media lobby and an international lobby – were also part of the shady conspiracy to besmirch the government’s good offices, the prime minister solemnly declared.
His revelations triggered an almost immediate witch hunt, and the masks of many of the robots fell, all thanks to the efforts of honest tweeps.
Social media users quickly unearthed a picture showing for the first time that robots had been active during the Gezi protests, provoking cops while marauding with other “chapullers” alike. And, in a move sure to make Isaac Asimov roll over in his grave, the assault clearly violated the first law of robotics: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
Robots might have remained in the background of the nationwide protests, but they also braved the infamous TOMAs without fear of suffering a short circuit...
Another photo was disclosed showing them celebrating their victory after new tapes incriminating Erdoğan were leaked onto the Internet.
But the ultimate reasons for why the robots broke their programming and turned on their masters remain unclear. Because, just like the Gülenists, the robots were an erstwhile ally of the government, having previously pursued a polite and sincere relationship with the government after sending their envoy, Asimo, to Turkey 10 years ago.
See-Threepio and R2-D2 had also personally met Erdoğan in the past, suggesting a mutual admiration between both parties.
Observers said it was difficult to deduce what went wrong or why robots are trying to hinder Turkey’s progress with their dark scheming. Erdoğan’s most recent revelations provide evidence that the robots have also violated the second law of robotics: “Obeying orders given by human beings.” Leaked pictures show that an army is ready to hit and hit hard – via Tweets for now.
Robots might even be ready for more action, swearing a robot eye for an eye and a Robocop for a cop, this photo from a tweep suggests.
Still, other tweeps have called for restraint and the presumption of innocence, at least on account of their appearance. Some are just too cute to be evil!
* Simon Tage is an Istanbul-based political satirist.