Self-Censorship in Social Media: A Case Study of Hacettepe University


JOURNAL OF INFORMATION & KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT, vol.14, no.1, 2015 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1142/s0219649215500100


In today's technological and information rich society, millions of people are using social media as part of online socialisation and virtual life. They create and share contents such as pictures, texts and videos. Social media takes on the role of being the platform in which individuals can freely express themselves. Individuals have the opportunity of networking in the form of creating and sharing content, brainstorming, chatting, and expressing opinions thanks to the reflective and refractive (Medeni and Medeni, 2012) characteristic of social media. But social media which is supposed to provide a space for free expression is subject to different forms of censorship. As a result, social media and censorship have become interwoven terms. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, individuals have the right to express their ideas, opinions freely regardless of the types of media used. Even though social media might be controlled in the same way as traditional media, it can be stated that censorship is taking many forms due to the emergence of the intelligence methods with the capability of governments to monitor and counteract social media (Papic and Noonan, 2011). In this study, self-censorship as well as the underlying causes of censorship in social media will be discussed. Censorship and self-censorship which are embedded within each other will be studied from psychological, sociological and linguistic aspects. The study explores the extent of self-censorship in social media using a population comprising of 37 senior students of Department of Information Management, Hacettepe University.