As protests raged through Turkey in the spring of 2013, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan proclaimed: “To me, social media is the worst menace to society.” Erdogan’s attempt to shut down Turkish citizens’ access to this form of social media — which was overturned days later by the nation’s highest court — reflects the fear of many in power: Social media can serve as a revolutionary tool.

What Erdogan might not realize is that actions against means of communications through which dissent can flourish can actually foment dissent and radicalize the citizenry. Erdogan might take a lesson from history — when the English Parliament attempted to tax American printers — before he, and others like him, take actions such as these in the future.

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