Good Party, HDP supporters experience more digital violence than others

Voters of Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP and opposition Good Party experience digital violence at a rate higher than other parties' supporters, a recent report revealed.

Ogün Akkaya / DUVAR

Supporters of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and opposition Good Party (İYİ) are subject to digital violence more than other voters in the political spectrum, a recent report by the Societal Information and Communication Association, KONDA Research and the United Nations Populations Fund revealed.

Some 38 percent of HDP voters experience digital violence because of their political opinions, the data showed, while Good Party voters are subject to digital violence at a rate of 55 percent.

Some 77 percent of digital violence targeting political opinions was reported to be carried out by persons unknown to the subject, while 39 percent were blamed on trolls, and 19 percent are subject to harassment by their friends. 

One out of five Internet users reported being subject to digital violence, while the frequency of the harassment decreased in the following order among platforms: Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

The report said women are mostly the subject of digital violence due to their gender, while men were targeted for their political opinions. 

Arab users thought they were subject to violence because of their ethnicity at a rate of 20 percent, while Kurdish users reported abuse at a rate of 18 percent. Only five percent of all users blamed the violence they endured on their ethnicity. 

A majority of those experiencing violence reported insults, foul language, threats, harassment and stalking, while blocking and reporting abusers emerged as the most common method of escaping maltreatment.