Archive for March, 2022|Monthly archive page

My graduate course on Metaverse this semester

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2022 at 10:51

One of Bilgi Media MA’s graduate courses is called “Issues in Cyberculture Studies” The course name gives me the flexibility to choose a  new “issue” every semester. Sometimes, I have chosen several issues but this semester I will focus on Metaverse. In the context of social sciences, this is such an emerging issue that there is not very substantive scholarly work yet.

Here is the syllabus for this semester. In addition to weekly readings, we are Neal Stephenson’s novel and discuss it through the semester as it is the very first place where the concept of the metaverse is mentioned.

I continue to collect new scholarly pieces in this folder. You can have a look.

I collect news stories on the topic here. The course is inevitably tied to developments in the industry.


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Naval mines in the Bosphorus as “Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks Enter a New Phase in Istanbul

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2022 at 15:15

Two naval mines diffused in three days, minister responds to rumors blaming Ukraine

After a mine that was seen in the Bosphorus, the Underwater Defense teams have diffused a mine near Turkey’s

Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks Enter a New Phase in Istanbul

“All the world is expecting good news from you,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in greeting the Russian and Ukrainian delegations.

Erdoğan addresses negotiators from Russia, Ukraine as talks start in İstanbul

Turkey is ready to host the presidents of the two countries, Erdoğan said at the meeting where Roman Abramovich is also

Russia vows to ‘radically reduce’ military activity in northern Ukraine

Potentially significant move comes as Moscow says ‘meaningful’ progress has been made at Istanbul peace talks Russia-

Turkey defuses mine after Russia warns of strays from Ukraine ports – TODAY

… setting off a loud explosion north of Istanbul, days after Russia warned several of them had washed away from Ukrainian ports

Turkey finds ‘mine-like object’ floating off Black Sea | Reuters

ISTANBUL, March 26 (Reuters) – Turkish authorites have warned vessels to stay away as a dive team inspects a “mine-like object” found floating

Under Putin’s media crackdown, Russian journalists flee to Turkey – NPR

Istanbul, Turkey, is one of the cities now hosting Russians who have fled their country since the start of the invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine’s Digital Ministry Is a Formidable War Machine

A government department run by savvy tech “freaks” has become a surprise defense against Russia.

The Destabilizing Effects of Even Low-Quality Deepfakes

We’ve seen an ominous trickle of subtle yet impactful incidents that largely slipped under the radar.

Why Ukraine war misinformation is so hard to police | CNN



In recent weeks, for example, clips from video games and scenes from old wars presented as views from Ukraine’s front

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“The Race to Archive the Ukrainian Internet” and a huge roundup

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2022 at 14:24

The Race to Archive the Ukrainian Internet

In times of war, preservation is more critical than ever—cultural artifacts, historical collections, and important records are often targeted and erased. Since Russia invaded Ukraine last month, the Internet Archive has been a crucial member of the effort to preserve Ukrainian websites, datasets, and digital resources before they’re lost forever.

We sometimes think of the internet as independent of the physical world, but data centers, routers, and cable networks are just as vulnerable to wartime destruction as a bridge or a road would be. Additionally, digital infrastructure can face other challenges ranging from electricity loss to advanced cyberattacks. Right now, more than a thousand volunteers from around the world are working to protect Ukrainian materials from these threats.

Archive Team

One major effort is being run by Archive Team, a loose collective of archivists, activists, and programmers who capture a variety of online materials and store them in the Internet Archive. Archive Team is running three major projects to capture the Ukrainian Internet. The first is an undirected crawl on URLs ending in “.ua”, which ranges across as much of the Ukrainian web as possible in the hopes of quickly gathering a wide variety of materials. This approach has the advantage of breadth, but sacrifices depth; complete copies may not be captured for every targeted site. The second project, however, selects a few specific sites to archive in their entirety–including government webpages, educational sites, and institutions that include digital archives and digital libraries. These sites are captured in-depth to ensure that as much is archived as possible. Finally, the third project is focused on journalism, relying on Ukrainian news aggregators to gather tens of millions of Ukrainian articles, creating a comprehensive, real-time record of how the invasion is unfolding.



Another effort to preserve crucial resources is Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online, or SUCHO. Coordinated online and through Slack, the volunteers are using a variety of web archiving tools, including the Wayback Machine, to capture web sites, open access journals, music, and other digital materials documenting Ukrainian cultural heritage. Many of these materials are now publicly available in the Internet Archive; if you’d like to learn more then check out this blog post about our support of SUCHO.

Take Action

How can you help the effort to protect these vital resources? Right now SUCHO is seeking more volunteers to help gather URLs, perform archiving operations, and improve metadata. They’re especially looking for people who speak Russian/Ukrainian or have coding skills–you can learn more here!

Another way to help is simply by using the Wayback Machine to preserve websites you may be concerned about. With the Save Page Now feature, anyone can submit URLs to be archived; if you’re logged in with an Internet Archive account, you can also select “Outlinks” to capture any pages that link to the page you’ve selected. And if you have the Wayback Machine browser extension, you can take a snapshot without having to leave the page–here’s the add-on for Chrome, for Safari, for Firefox, and for Microsoft Edge. If you see something, save something!

Last but not least, you can make a difference by donating to the Internet Archive–we rely on contributions from individuals like you to fund our infrastructure, develop archiving tools, and purchase servers where cultural artifacts can be stored in perpetuity. Your generosity will help us continue to promote the work of preservation around the world.


Thank you for your support.


-The Internet Archive Team

The flag of Ukraine, a blue stripe with a yellow stripe below, waves in front of a blue sky.


[no-caption] TheKit_13/Pixabay

This article was originally published at The Conversation and has been republished under Creative Commons.

For most of the 20th century, English speakers referred to “the Ukraine,” following Soviet practice. That’s not the case now. Ukraine’s official name in English does not include “the” and for good reason.


Total refugees from Ukraine, compared to other countries

Intercepted Russian radio communications

The New York Times analyzed Russian radio communications near Kyiv . The unencrypted transmissions, which anyone

Crypto Goes to War in Ukraine

Plus: Prophecies of digital cash, Russia’s virtual isolation, and bleak conditions for black tie.

Over Ukraine, Lumbering Turkish-Made Drones Are an Ominous Sign for Russia

The Bayraktar TB2 has become a rallying symbol for Ukrainians, who are singing songs about them and posting videos of their success.

Recommended Reading: The first TikTok war

The myth of the ‘First TikTok War’

Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is playing out over social media, with varying degrees of facts depending on who is delivering the information. Through the lens of previous conflicts, Tiffany examines if the label of “The First TikTok War” is accurate for current world events based on the platform’s design or if that moniker even matters. “If something is new, then maybe it can be different,” she writes. “But to look for that difference in the offerings of a technology company is obviously sad and misguided.”

In the Ukraine conflict, fake fact-checks are being used to spread disinformation

On March 3, Daniil Bezsonov, an official with the pro-Russian separatist region of Ukraine that styles itself as the Donetsk

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It has been more than a year we have lost Claude Prévost

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2022 at 13:14

Dear Sean had a piece recently on the memory of Claude. She left precious memories behind. Whenever I share a social photo, I expect as if she is still there and she will make some lovely comments. If nothing else, I am glad that I met Claude through blogging. I wish her rest in piece.

The Moonlight ist speechless …

… and so am I, almost, on the first anniversary of Claude’s death, which is why I let her speak.
She sent me this poem in December 2018.


She worked hard at being able
to think THINK instead of PENSER
to write a flawless letter to England as well as to France
to add Shelley to Lamartine
to exude Gallic charm mixed with British romanticism

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ECREA’s Open letter to media professionals who cover Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2022 at 11:29

Dear ECREAns,

I’ve been asked by Lyubov Naydonova, President of the Ukrainian Association of Media Psychologists and Media Educators, to share an open letter with you aimed at influencing Western media coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The letter is signed by the leaders of a number of Ukrainian media research organizations and by a number of prominent Ukrainian journalists.

John Downey
ECREA President

Open letter to media professionals who cover Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

(download pdf HERE)

From: Ukrainian media organizations, reporters, photographers, media managers and communication professionals

Dear colleagues,

On February 24 2022, Russia began an unprovoked full scale invasion of Ukraine, a massive escalation of their eight-year war in Donbas in east Ukraine. Russia’s war is conducted along four axes, attacking all major Ukrainian cities with missiles, air strikes and in most instances, ground forces. Untold numbers of civilians and servicemen have been killed. In just over three weeks, more than three million Ukrainians have become refugees in Europe. Four members of the media community have been killed by Russian forces: Oleksandra Kuvshynova, Brent Renaud, Evgen Sakun and Pierre Zakrzewski. Russian forces kidnap Ukrainian journalists in order to silence them, thus a Ukrainian journalist Viktoriya Roschina and Oleh Baturin spent 6 and 8 days in captivity after disappearing. Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin disappeared on March 13th while reporting from the frontline near Kyiv. A publisher from Melitopol Mikhail Kumok and three journalists – Yevgeniya Boryan, Yuliya Olkhovska and Lyubov Chaika – has been also detained for 1 day and have been pressured to collaborate with Russian occupational regime in their city.

Simultaneously Russia has been attacking our core values of truthful, fact-driven and honest reporting through continuous disinformation campaigns. Many people are not aware of the scale and depth of these campaigns, and their full impact is yet to be felt.

The effectiveness of these disinformation narratives did not happen overnight. They took time to seep into public discourse, capitalizing on misrepresentations or misunderstandings over language, history and politics, and exacerbating existing divisions in society until they began to stifle civil discussion.

This is why, as individual journalists and organizations from the Ukrainian media community who have battled with Russian information warfare since 2014, we would like to highlight the following points regarding the language used to describe this war. Some of them might not be obvious but are vitally important to us and a truthful representation of this war. We ask media organizations to share this with their newsrooms and audiences:

1) One common error is to use terms like “crisis”, “conflict” or “military operation”, or call it “Ukrainian” i.e. “Ukraine Crisis” or “Ukraine conflict”. This is a full scale invasion of, and war against, Ukraine. We ask you to correctly indicate Russia’s role in the war with the wording “Russia’s war in Ukraine” and/or “Russian invasion of Ukraine”, especially in captions, headlines, leads and hashtags.

2) At the same time, we ask not to overuse the phrase “Putin’s war”. Even though there is a temptation to believe that this war started only because of the Russian president, several polls from diverse polling organizations (Savanta ComRes, VCIOM, the research project “Do Russians Want War?”) have reported that the silent majority of Russians – roughly 60 percent – support the war. During the first week of the war, public support for Putin in Russia grew from 60 to 71 percent. Russian soldiers on the ground are firing missiles and bombs, and deliberately killing civilians. Many of them do not have access to the facts and to independent media, but this does not take responsibility away from them.

3) Many refer to the 2014 pseudo-referendums in the Ukrainian territories of Crimea and Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts as explanations for Russian military aggression. This is misleading. The territories of Crimea, and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, were annexed and occupied by Russian forces in 2014. Crimea was annexed by Russia in an unequivocal violation of international law. The war in Donbas was exclusively orchestrated and supported by the Russian State. The pseudo-referendums and proxy republics are not recognised by the international community. Experts (Orysia LutsevychAndrew Wilson, and Nikolay Mitrokhin to name a few) emphasize that neither the creation of the puppet “republics” in Donetsk and Luhansk nor the conventional war would have happened without Russian involvement. The current escalation demonstrates Russia’s desire to control the whole of Ukraine, and these “republics” are used as a platform for full-scale invasion and a tool for propaganda and disinformation.

    • Additionally the quasi “republics” in Donbas are not another armed side of the conflict. They operate as part of the Russian army and mercenaries fighting in Ukraine. Using terms like “separatist-held areas” is therefore incorrect. Please consider using “Russian proxies”.

4) Another common error we observe is to report Ukrainian and Russian positions as “two equal perspectives”. Russian positions are based on lies, propaganda and denial of the existence of Ukraine as a nation and state. Russian propaganda is not just “strategic communication” or another point of view, it is using disinformation to justify killing thousands of civilians and continuing a completely unprovoked war.

5) The narrative that characterizes the war as a proxy one between Russia and the West denies Ukrainian agency – something that the Ukrainian people’s resistance to invasion clearly demonstrates. NATO is an alliance based on the right of sovereign nations to collective defense, enshrined in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. By focusing on ‘expansion’, the media are perpetuating the Kremlin’s justification for war and ignoring the democratic voice of the Ukrainian people who wish to live in peace, free from Russian aggression.

6) Finally, we implore you to include, engage and hear Ukrainian experts. The majority of international experts specialize in Russia or Eastern Europe. We ask to include Ukrainian experts, or those who have lived and worked in Ukraine in the journalism you publish about the war.

Information warfare and disinformation academics and experts warn that Russian tactics, perpetuated by its supporters here in the West and abroad, have one objective: to divide, deceive, sow doubt and create enough distrust of information that people do not know what to believe, and question even the most well-evidenced facts. They will play on the truths we tell ourselves and promises which go unkept. They will attack sentiments shared by, and within, ethnic, gender, linguistic and socio-economic groups. Disinformation aims to oversimplify existing issues and turn victims into perpetrators. We see this already with Russians supporting this war believing they are fighting NATO and “neo-Nazis” in Ukraine. We have seen it in the past with disinformation targeting the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe and the truth behind the downing of flight MH-17 in 2014.

A full and truthful account of this war is pivotal to defeating Russia’s information war, consisting of propaganda and manipulation targeted at Ukraine and at liberal democratic countries and institutions. Therefore, we believe that the public needs to be aware of how Russia will manipulate the effects of this war. They will attempt to weaponize behaviors which contradict our collective values, such as double standards towards refugees and racial discrimination against minority groups. They will attempt to hyper-charge the rise of nationalist movements, in order to deflect the blame from Russia to Ukraine, NATO and Europe. We believe that it is important to raise these issues now, to allow for a civilized and open discourse on how to collectively tackle these and future issues which undoubtedly will arise from this war.


Media organizations:

Commission on Journalism Ethics
Ukrainian Media Business Association

National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, – Sergiy Tomilenko, President
Institute of Mass Information – Oksana Romaniuk, director
Internews Ukraine – Kostiantyn Kvurt, the head
Regional Press development Institute
Center for Democracy and Rule of Law
Independent Media Council, Ukraine
Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute – Diana Dutsyk, CEO
Detector media NGO – Natalyia Lygachova, head, chief editor
Souspilnist Foundation, – Taras Petriv, president
Media Development Foundation – Eugene Zaslavsky, Executive Director
Ukrainian Association of media psychologists and media educators – Lyubov Naydonova, President
Suspilne (UA: PBC) – Angelina Kariakina, head of news
Hromadske – Yuliia Fediv, CEO
LB.UA – Sonya Koshkina, Editor-in-Chief
Ukrayinska Pravda – Sevgil Musaieva, chief editor
Zaborona Media – Katerina Sergatskova, editor-in-chief, Roman Stepanovych, CEO
Realnaya Gazeta – Andrii Dikhtiarenko, chief editor
Glavcom (Information Agency) – Mykola Pidvezianiy, chief editor

Individual journalists, media professionals, experts:

Emine ZiyatdinovaIndependent Media consultant and documentary photographer. London, UK
Nina KuryataIndependent Media consultant. Kyiv, Ukraine
Svitlana OstapaSupervisory Board of PJSC, the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, The Chair
Maryna Synhaivska“Ukrinform” National News Agency of Ukraine, Deputy Director General
Liza KuzmenkoHead of NGO “Women in the Media”, the CJE member
Julia Smirnovaanalyst and journalist, London
Olena Dub, journalist, media-consultant
Olga Yurkovamedia trainer, media consultant
Marichka Varenikovafreelance journalist and producer
Oksana Parafeniukfreelance photojournalist and producer
Tetiana StroiCEO of Donetsk Press Club, media trainer, media expert
Svitlana YeremenkoCEO of Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, journalist, media expert
Roman Kifliukindependent media expert
Anastasia Magazova, journalist and author, Berlin/Kyiv
Anastasia Vlasovavisual storyteller
Oksana Grytsenkoindependent journalist
Tetiana Pechonchykhead of the Human Rights Center ZMINA, the CJE member
Andrii IanitskyiCenter for Journalism at Kyiv School of Economics, the head

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The project I am also in: “Poynter’s MediaWise joins Istanbul Bilgi University in Turkey to launch a free digital media literacy program

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2022 at 10:44

Doğruluk Payı chief editor Koray Kaplıca discusses challenges for fact-checkers during a panel on March 24, 2022, featuring Istanbul Bilgi University associate professor Erkan Saka, MediaWise program manager Alex Mahadevan and Esra Özgür, head of educational content at Teyit. (Özde Karadağ/Istanbul Bilgi University)

Poynter’s MediaWise joins Istanbul Bilgi University in Turkey to launch a free digital media literacy program

The latest course from MediaWise teaches Turkish adults how to discern fact from fiction online, one text message at a time.

March 25, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 25, 2022) – MediaWise, the digital media literacy initiative of the nonprofit Poynter Institute, has developed a new microlearning course that teaches Turkish citizens how to identify and steer clear of misinformation online.

Geared toward older Turks, the free WhatsApp course was created with support from Meta and in partnership with the Faculty of Communication at Istanbul Bilgi University.

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Today Digital Media Literacy WhatsApp course launches #AcabaDoğruMu with @ifbilgi and @mediawise

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2022 at 11:29

I am excited to be part of Mediawise‘s efforts to internationalize the Digital Media Literacy WhatsApp course. The launch and the panels afterward can be watched here:


This is a collaboration between the Faculty of Communication at Istanbul Bilgi University and Poynter‘s Mediawise which in turn is supported by Meta Turkey.

The launch program here:

Well, the whole idea is to start the course so you can use QR code here:

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Even the minister admits yesterday’s police violence in Adana

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2022 at 18:04

[News information is at the bottom]. This opens up so much semiological interpretation. Islamists’ always used the headscarf issue as part of playing the victim. Now a headscarved policewomen was seen brutally attacking an Islamist women protesters…


Police intervened against the protest demonstration of Furkan Foundation in Adana province. While the foundation has asked for Interior Minister Soylu’s resignation over the police violence, the videos of the incident have sparked criticisms on social media.

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An article on “The Coffeehouses in Istanbul” [in the old days]

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2022 at 16:39

Mavi Boncuk | The Cofeehouse That Looks for Its Past 

 Popular literature about the coffee houses in Istanbul are mostly in Turkish and it is part of the nostalgia trend in recent years. There are many books about the nostalgia for the private daily life of Istanbul. These include the memoirs of authors from the late 1800s and early 1900s like Ali Rıza Bey, Abdülaziz Bey and Mehmet Tevik. In this mythical historytelling style have a central role in the nostalgic Istanbul’s sociologically interlayered structure. Burçak Evren’s Cofee houses of Old Istanbul, Taha Toros’s Story of Cofee, Levent Kavas’s Cofee and Narghile are books that either created the trend or came to be as the byproducts of this trend. Of course, before this recent increase in popularity, there were pioneering studies about coffeehouses concerning their many features, but they were repetitive and, without methodology non-systematic.

Iconic European cities: Istanbul | All media content | DW | 11.03.2022

Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world located on two continents: Europe and Asia. Here are some highlights and insider tips for a visit to

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A Turkish journalist in exile was attacked in Stockholm, Sweden

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2022 at 10:30

Ahmet Dönmez is a former Gülenist journalist. His harsh criticisms were effective among Gülenists. However, he was visibly threatened by the pro-government mafia personalities. A few days ago he was attacked by thugs in front of his young daughter. He had brain concussion.

As far as I know, his health is better under medical control at the moment… His Twitter account, handled by his wife at the moment, informs the reader about his situation.

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