It’s not every day a country blocks one of the biggest social media platforms on the planet.
Shortly after the Turkish Prime Minister had threatened to shutdown social media platforms such as Twitter, Tayyip Edroğan and the Turkish government officially restricted access to the popular micro-blogging site. With local elections approaching at the end of the month, the Prime Minister and the Turkish government have been battling accusations of corruption due to users leaking information via sites such as Twitter and YouTube. Claiming that Twitter failed to adhere to a Turkish court ruling demanding the aforementioned social media company to remove particular links, the government stated that it had no other option but to ban Twitter nationwide. This news comes a couple of weeks after Edroğan claimed that Facebook and YouTube could have their access restricted within the country due to “enemies” leaking content revealing corruption within his inner governing circle.
Addressing the ban of its site within Turkey, the official Twitter Policy account has provided Turkish Twitter users with an option to send Tweets via SMS, posting the instructions in both English and Turkish:
Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.
— Policy (@policy) March 20, 2014
Hashtags such as #TwitterisblockedinTurkey and #DictatorEdrogan have been trending worldwide as social media users, redditors, and forum users alike have been discussing the news all day long. It remains to be seen how long this ban will be in effect, but freedom of speech within the online environment has become a hot topic globally as nations such as North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China have infringed on Internet users’ rights to access certain web content and/or sites. One thing is for certain: if this situation escalates to the point where more popular sites are banned, civil unrest will reach new heights in Turkey, potentially causing yet another revolution/massive wave of protests in the Eastern hemisphere.