Turkey slaps advertising ban Twitter under the new social media law

Ankara has imposed advertising bans Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest after they failed to appoint local representatives in Turkey under a new social media law, according to decisions published on Tuesday. Under the law, which critics say stifles dissent, social media companies that fail to appoint such representatives are liable for a range of sanctions, including the latest move by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK ).

The law allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they have done in the past. It has caused concern as people turn more to online platforms after Ankara strengthened its hold on traditional media. The latest decisions in the country’s Official Gazette said that advertising bans have come into effect from Tuesday. Twitter, its Periscope live streaming app and Pinterest image sharing app weren’t immediately available for comment.

Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth would be reduced by 50% in April and 90% in May. Twitter said last month that it would shut down Periscope by March due to the decline in usage. “We are determined to do whatever it takes to protect our nation’s data, privacy and rights,” Sayan said Twitter. “We will never allow digital fascism and disregard for rules to prevail in Turkey,” he said, echoing President Tayyip Erdogan’s harsh comments.

On Monday, Facebook Inc joined with other companies saying it would appoint a local representative, but added that it would withdraw the person if it faces pressure on what is allowed on its platform. YouTube, owned by Google of Alphabet Inc, said a month ago that it would comply with the new law, which Ankara says improves local oversight of foreign companies.

The decisions of Facebook, Google and YouTube leave them “in serious danger of becoming a state censorship tool,” wrote Milena Buyum, Amnesty International’s Turkey activist. Twitter. He called them to say exactly how they would avoid this. In the previous months Facebook, YouTube and Twitter he had been fined in Turkey for not complying. Businesses that break the law will eventually see their bandwidth reduced, essentially blocking access.

Erdogan said last week that data controllers can establish “digital dictatorships while ignoring democracy, law, rights and freedoms”. He promised to defend what he described as the country’s “cyber homeland”.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

News Highlights:

  • Ankara has imposed advertising bans Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest after they failed to appoint local representatives in Turkey under a new social media law, according to decisions published on Tuesday.
  • Turkey slaps advertising ban Twitter under the new social media law