Dial Zero
A look at what's surprising, silly, scary or stupid in telecommunications and data

Friday, March 21, 2014

Turkish leader plans to eradicate Twitter. YouTube was previously banned. Facebook was threatened.




Turkey has blocked access to Twitter. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan boasted, “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” Erdoğan said at a campaign rally on March 20, 10 days before the upcoming local elections, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

The Press Advisory of the Prime Ministry later clarified Erdoğan's statement, arguing that Twitter officials currently "ignore" some court rulings in Turkey, which order the social media platform to "remove some links" as per the complaints filed by Turkish citizens.

"[In Erdoğan's speech] it is stated that as long as Twitter fails to change its attitude of ignoring court rulings and not doing what is necessary according to the law, technically, there might not be a remedy but to block access in order to relieve our citizens," the statement said.

On Feb. 25, Erdoğan had accused a “robot lobby” of targeting the government through Twitter messages, while strongly denying the authenticity of new phone recordings leaked onto the Internet and implicating his government in corruption allegations.

During protests last June, Erdoğan described the microblogging website as a “trouble,” claiming that “unmitigated lies are there [on Twitter].”

On March 6, Turkey’s premier had also threatened to shut down Facebook and YouTube “if necessary,” via the controversial law. YouTube has been repeatedly banned in Turkey in the past decade.

Meanwhile, Twitter has recently started to remove fake accounts created in Turkey with allegedly “manipulative” political motives. Twitter has become an increasingly bitter battleground between pro and anti-government forces in Turkey in recent months.

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