Turkey blocks Twitter
This morning I woke up to the news that Turkey decided to block Twitter. Here is the story.
The general election in Turkey is due on 30th March this year. Given that the country is in intense campaigns period, all sorts of propaganda are being propagated by both the government and the opposition.
To aid in its campaign, the opposition seems to have obtained highly classified information implicating Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, the incumbent Prime Minister, on some serious corrupt dealings. Documents and audio recordings with these implications were posted on Twitter. The audio is alleged to be revealing the voice of the Prime Minister instructing his son to hide money from police who continue to investigate various scams which has seen the inner circle of the Prime Minister get rounded up.
Then the government is said to have ordered Twitter, via court orders, to delete links to the leaked documents but Twitter has somehow not heeded. The failure to comply has necessitated the government to act by blocking Twitter’s access in Turkey. Threats have also been issued against Facebook and YouTube as people are also using them to spread propaganda against the government.
TIB (Turkish Telecommunication Board) has however said that the blockage on Twitter is due to Twitter not working on its Privacy issues that the citizens of Turkey have complained about. “Twitter block is the only solution to address the unjust treatment of our citizens” said Anatolia, the state run News Agency.
My question to the government of Turkey (and other governments that have banned various Internet services on similar grounds) is, is the problem Twitter or the problem should be either corruption, criminals who access confidential information illegally, or criminals who fabricate lies and spread them via Twitter?
Banning of Twitter and other online information sharing platforms won’t deter the criminals from spreading the propaganda using any other available information sharing platforms. Already Twitter has asked the citizens of Turkey to use the text based tweeting options to circumvent around the ban. The government might decide to ban Internet altogether, but I don’t think they can go to the extent of banning phone based communication or even ban the opposition from addressing their supporters in public rallies – where – the opposition can decide to replay the audio recordings.
Anyway, it is quite sad that is today’s world, a country like Turkey can still block information gateways like Twitter.