Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Turkey turns screws on Twitter, Periscope with advertising bans

Tuesday 19/January/2021 - 01:42 PM
The Reference

Turkey has imposed advertising bans on Twitter and other social media platforms in line with a new law that critics warn will increase censorship and stifle dissent.

The decision was published on Tuesday in the Official Gazette, which cited the bans on Twitter, its live video-streaming app Periscope and image-sharing app Pinterest.

The law passed in July exerts greater control over social media, forcing platforms to comply with strict conditions or face hefty fines and bandwidth reductions.

Foreign social media platforms accessed by more than 1 million daily users in Turkey would have to appoint legal representatives based in the country.

Failure to appoint a representative would result in fines, advertising bans and gradually having the platform's bandwidth cut, rendering it unusable.

They will also have to store users' data in Turkey, making it easier for the authorities to access.

On Monday, Facebook said that it would appoint a local representative in compliance with the law, "while also recognizing how important it is for our platform to be a place where users can exercise their freedom of expression."

Over the past months, Turkey has imposed fines on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and TikTok for violating the law. YouTube and LinkedIn have since said they will appoint representatives.

Turkey routinely detains and prosecutes people for criticizing the government and its policies on social media.

Deputy Transport and Infrastructure Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said he hoped Twitter and Pinterest would take the necessary steps immediately.