Today’s Zaman editor-in-chief target of social media smear campaign
Bülent Keneş, the editor-in-chief of English daily Today’s Zaman, becomes the target of a social media campaign.Bülent Keneş, the editor-in-chief of English daily Today’s Zaman, has become the target of a smear campaign on social media for his stance on the government’s plans to shut down prep schools and stories in his paper criticizing some government policies.
The latest criticism against Keneş stems from his strong opposition to the closure of the courses that prepare students for high school and university entrance tests. A hashtag that demanded Keneş be removed from his post became a trending topic on Twitter last week.
Keneş was first targeted due to the stories published in Today’s Zaman during the Gezi protests in June and the following weeks. A poll published by the daily in mid-June that said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) votes dropped to 35 percent drew anger from the party’s supporters.
“Unfortunately, the lynching campaigns in the media have recently become a part of my life,” Keneş told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.
The latest smear campaign on Twitter targeting the Today’s Zaman chief claims that he is a “Zionist spy who makes complaints about the government to Israel.”
The AKP in September launched a massive project to boost the party’s social media presence by hiring over 6,000 new employees for its newly formed social media team, according to daily Star.
The move came soon after the AKP was dealt a clear defeat on social media when Gezi protesters turned websites like Twitter and Facebook into tools for organizing protests, voicing mostly anti-government sentiments.