Turkey slaps advertising ban on Twitter, Pinterest

19 Janvier, 2021, 20:20 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Turkey’s parliament passed the amendment last July     ozgurdonmaz  iStock

The amendment, which Turkey's parliament passed last July, requires social media companies with services accessed from the country over 1 million times daily to appoint permanent representatives in Turkey and store the data of users located in the country within Turkey.

The company said its decision did not change its community standards, which outline what is and what is not allowed on Facebook, nor its process for reviewing government requests.

The decision, published by the official gazette on Tuesday, came after Ankara fined both companies 40m Turkish Lira ($5.3m) under the new law.

Turkey has imposed an advertisement ban on social media giants Twitter and Pinterest for failing to assign a legal representative in the country, under regulations that came into effect past year. The company would be held liable for damages if the content is not removed or blocked within 24 hours.

Freedom of speech defenders warn the law is part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attempt to control social media and stop any dissent against his government.

Twitter said in an email to The Associated Press that it had no comment over Turkey's move.

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Turkish authorities fined the social media giant at least 40 million Turkish lira ($5.3 million) past year for not complying with the request to assign a representative.

Rights groups have said the decision by global 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 curtailed. The Freedom of Expression Association says more than 450,000 domains and 42,000 tweets have been blocked in Turkey since October.

"The consequences of compliance for human rights are huge: companies would not be able to resist arbitrary blocking/banning requests, would be compelled to provide user data", she said.

Facebook said Monday it remained committed to maintaining free expression and other human rights in Turkey.

Last week, Turkey's antitrust board launched a probe against messaging application WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook Inc. for its new usage terms.

Kelvin K. Chan contributed from London.

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