Turkey slapped advertising bans on Tuesday Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest for failing to comply with a controversial new law that requires social media platforms to appoint legal representatives in the country.
The law – which human rights and media freedom groups claim amounts to censorship – forces social media companies to retain representatives in Turkey to handle complaints about content on their platforms. Companies that refuse to designate an official representative are subject to fines, followed by advertising bans, and could experience bandwidth reductions that would make their platforms too slow to use.
Facebook avoided the advertising ban after announcing on Monday that it had initiated the process of assigning a legal entity in Turkey, joining LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, Dailymotion and Russian social media site VKontakte, who agreed to set up legal entities in Turkey.
“We hope so Twitter and Pinterest who have not yet announced that their representatives will take the necessary measures quickly, “said Omer Fatih Sayan, the deputy minister in charge of communications and infrastructure, after the advertising bans for Twitter, its live video streaming app, Periscope, and image sharing network, Pinterest, were announced in Turkey’s Official Gazette.
Sayan added: “It is our last wish to impose bandwidth reductions for social networks that insist on not meeting their obligations.” No immediate comment from Twitter and Pinterest for the advertising ban.
Under the law that went into effect in October, the local representative of social media companies would be tasked with responding to individual requests to remove content that violates privacy and personal rights within 48 hours or provide reasons for refusal. The company will be held liable for damages if the content is not removed or blocked within 24 hours.
The law also requires social media data to be stored in Turkey, raising concerns in a country where the government has a history of cracking down on free speech.
Rights groups said the decision by international tech companies to bow to Turkish pressure and appoint representatives would lead to censorship and violations of the right to privacy and access to information in a country where independent media is severely restricted. The Freedom of Expression Association says more than 450,000 domains and 42,000 tweets have been blocked in Turkey since October.
Facebook On Monday she said she was still committed to maintaining freedom of expression and other human rights in Turkey.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
- Turkey slaps advertising ban Twitter, Pinterest