User generated dissent: a biographic case study of peer production mechanisms on

Furman, Ivo Ozan. 2016. User generated dissent: a biographic case study of peer production mechanisms on Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

In a public sphere wherein corporate monopolies of mass media networks prevail and antidemocratic practices suppressing the freedom of speech are the norm, the widespread adoption of the Internet in Turkey has engendered the emergence of a sphere of dissent wherein participants use social media and Web 2.0 platforms to engage in cyberactivism, participate in networked social movements, and express alternative, non-hegemonic political identities and discourses. Sözlüks, a genre of content hosting platforms that can broadly be described as urban dictionaries, are unique within this ecology insofar as they rely on collaborative mechanisms to produce and organize dissent. Affording the oppurtunity to express oneself to the Turkish-speaking online audience in an anonymous manner, sözlüks have become safe havens for free speech within the context of a country historically known for the censure of the press and the public sphere.

Although it has been argued that engagement in spaces similar to sözlüks constitute a form of digital labour, this dissertation argues that participation and the collaborative process found in sözlüks constitutes a unique model of peer production. The commons-based peer-production model used by sözlüks generates a constant steam of publicly accessible and at times, subversive information. User generated dissent explores communal, commons and automated aspects to the peer production mechanisms driving Ekşisözlük, the oldest urban dictionary in Turkish cyberspace in a holistic manner. It attempts to link the model of collaboration found on Ekşisözlük with other studies on different peer production models found elsewhere online.

Opting for a mixed methodology that combines ethnographic fieldwork with a sociotechnical systems and Biography of Artefacts (BoA) approach, User generated dissent combines conventional data collection methods with using the Wayback Machine (WM) to build a longitudinal case-study to document the collaborative process that has made Ekşisözlük a unique and influential actor within the ecology of Turkish cyberspace.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


peer-production, cyberspace,, biography of artefacts, Wayback Machine

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



30 April 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

18 May 2016 13:16

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:39


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