Sourtimes: "Format" is watching (S)users
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In that study, I discussed the socio-political importance of Ekşi Sözlük (www.sourtimes.org), which is one of the largest internet communities in Turkey. At first glance, Ekşi Sözlük, a web site which has more than 60.000 official users and more than 10.000 writers, would appear like a democratic and polyphonic platform displaying variety of opinions and ideas. This giant and non-linear text, which has no beginning and end, works through links and accumulation of sub-texts has a heterogeneous form which seems to include pluralistic and subversive energies. However, a closer look to the folkloric performance and cultural production mode of this collective text would reveal that hierarchical organization of the community restrains plurality of views and potential subversive energies to a great extent. So-called "format" of the website sets the rules for the production of texts. Conformity to these rules has been supervised by inside "moderators" and "informers". As a result, the writers of the website are under close surveillance of moderators, informers and other writers as well. These formal requirements and procedures of the website might seem like innocuous internal regulations. Nevertheless, high rates of "erased entries" and "expelled writers" arouse suspicions about the scope of these "internal regulations". The high rates of erasure and expulsion suggest that hegemonic power relations play a pivotal role in the production of that collective and folkloric text.