Systematic Racism on Ekşi Sözlük against Kurdish people
Systematic Racism on Ekşi Sözlük against Kurdish people
The right to free speech shouldn't be mixed up with the right to free and responsible speech. Ekşi Sözlük should change its policy from advocating the right to free speech to the right to free and responsible speech.
Systematic racism was once explicitly supported by the official authorities all over the globe in the past. Nowadays, overt racism is not on the agenda for many states in the world, but racism has been advocated by different channels and groups.
Today we are going to deal with systematic racism against Kurdish people on Ekşi Sözlük, in Turkey. Before we dive into this issue, we should remember what racism is.
Racism is; prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.
It’s probably not a new thing that you hear Kurdish people and racism in the same context. However, in today’s globalized and “civilized” world, fortunately it isn’t easy to witness public or obvious racism against one person or one group of people, as most of the time, any obvious racist act or application faces a strong public condemnation in the media. Despite the fact that it tends to be the representative of the neo-fascist movement in Turkey, even the National Movement Party, known as MHP, sometimes tries to avoid endorsing overt racism against Kurdish people. Therefore, overt racism or explicit racism against Kurdish people in Turkey doesn’t look to be a severe or an outstanding issue as of 2022.
The form of racism against Kurdish people in Turkey is mostly in the form of covert racism which will be dealt with in the future articles published here on ensonhaber.express.
Systematic Racism on Ekşi Sözlük against Kurdish People
When it comes to Ekşi Sözlük, it is undoubtedly one of the worst digital platforms on the internet that explicitly hosts systematic racism against Kurdish people.
What is Ekşi Sözlük? Here is the answer by Wikipedia: “Ekşi Sözlük is a collaborative hypertext dictionary based on the concept of web sites built up on user contribution. However, Ekşi Sözlük is not a dictionary in the strict sense; users are not required to write correct information.”
Ekşi Sözlük has around 200.000 active users who are defined (by Ekşi Sözlük) as authors who actually have nothing to do with the intrinsic role of authorship. All the users are contributors and write on Ekşi Sözlük without any restriction, but the legal restrictions in Turkey.
Ekşi Sözlük users are allowed to be anonymous. Thus, all the users with some exceptions are anonymous. Anonymity paves the way for the worst thoughts and feelings that are hidden in the unconscious of the users to come to light and to be written out on Ekşi Sözlük, on the internet. Thereby, people on the internet are open to be exposed to this content anytime they surf on the internet.
Any Ekşi Sözlük user can write whatever he/she wants as far as he/she writes a standard description for the relevant topic. Descriptions are not required to be correct. In fact the descriptions can be and are mostly false, offensive, racist, immoral and dirty.
This is why Ekşi Sözlük has become a favorite hub for systematic racism against Kurdish people. There is no any effective mechanism to prevent racist users from endorsing racism. Indeed the racist entries and topics can be reported to Ekşi Sözlük moderation team. Even if the racist entries and topics are reported, it takes a significant time for the moderation team to react. Another problem is that the moderation team does not move against racist entries and topics unless they are reported. One reason for the passiveness of the moderation team is that there are around 200.000 active (approved) users and 400.000 passive (waiting to be approved) users, while the number of people in the moderation team is limited.
However, Ekşi Sözlük can easily take necessary steps to stop harmful users and their content, but the paltform is not that much willing to take the necessary measures. Because once these racist users and trolls are banned, Ekşi Sözlük platform will have less visitors and less income from ads.
Ekşi Sözlük and its owner/s should overcome the desire to make more money, and should take the necessary measures to completely give an end to not only racism, but also sexism and any other kind of hate speech and act.
When one first hears about Ekşi Sözlük, it is possible to think that it is very democratic platform that does supports freedom of speech. Nonetheless, the right to free speech shouldn’t be mixed up with the right to free and responsible speech. Ekşi Sözlük should change its policy from advocating the right to free speech to the right to free and responsible speech.
No one has the right to endorse racism, sexism and any other kind of hate speech and act.
The number of Turkish nationalists who promote systematic racism outnumbers even Kurdish users on Ekşi Sözlük. Therefore, just like any other majoritarian democratic institution or platform, Ekşi Sözlük also lets the majority to literally lynch the minorities. Most importantly, this lynch doesn’t become limited to Ekşi Sözlük platform, as it is open to all people around the world.
The example of anti-Kurdish racism are many. Many racist Ekşi Sözlük users use K*rt instead of Kürt, as if the word Kürt which means Kurdish is an offensive word. Theoretically, one cannot claim that K*rt is a part of hate speech. However, this kind of slang language has become a part of hate speech among the racists against Kurdish people on the internet.