Under the new law, social media companies that do not appoint local representatives will face a range of penalties.
Turkey has hit Twitter, Pinterest and Periscope with advertising bans after failing to follow Facebook and designate a local representative to remove the disputed posts under a new media law released on Tuesday.
Under the law, which critics say stifles dissent, social media companies that fail to appoint such representatives face a range of penalties, including the decision of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK). ) impose advertising bans.
The latest ruling published in the country’s official gazette said the bans went into effect on Tuesday. Twitter, its Periscope live streaming app, and the Pinterest image-sharing app were not immediately available for comment.
The new law allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they did in the past. This has raised concerns as people have turned to online platforms in recent years since Ankara tightened its grip on mainstream media after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan survived an attempted coup. ‘Status in 2016.
In previous months, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been fined millions of dollars in Turkey for non-compliance. Businesses that do not follow the law will ultimately have their bandwidth reduced, essentially blocking access.
Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth will be cut by 50% in April and 90% in May. Twitter announced last month that it would shut down Periscope by March due to a drop in usage.
“We are determined to do whatever is necessary to protect the data, privacy and rights of our nation,” Sayan said on Twitter. “We will never allow digital fascism and rule-breaking to prevail in Turkey,” he said, echoing Erdogan’s stern comments.
Free speech advocates warn that the law is part of Erdogan’s attempt to control social media and stop dissent against his government.
Facebook joined with other companies on Monday in saying it would appoint a local representative, but added that it would remove the person if they faced pressure about what is allowed on their platform.
Milena Buyum, Amnesty International activist for Turkey, said Monday: “Facebook’s decision puts them – along with Google, YouTube and others – in serious danger of becoming an instrument of state censorship.”
YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, said a month ago that it would comply with the new law, which the government says strengthens local oversight of foreign companies.
Erdogan said last week that those in control of the data can establish “digital dictatorships by disregarding democracy, the law, rights and freedoms” and pledged to defend what he described as the country’s “cyber homeland”.
The “cyber world … has become a threat to humanity,” he warned.