This article was published on January 26, 2015

Turkey orders Facebook to censor pages that insult the Prophet Mohammed

Turkey orders Facebook to censor pages that insult the Prophet Mohammed

Update: The BBC reports that Facebook has complied with the order to block a page considered insulting to the Prophet Mohammad.

Original story follows…

A Turkish court has ordered Facebook to censor pages that insult the Prophet Mohammed, reports Reuters. The ruling was handed down yesterday with a threat that access to the social network will be blocked if it refuses to comply.

The decision, which came at the request of a prosecutor, according to Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT, follows another court ruling earlier this month which ordered news sites that published the cover of Charlie Hebdo featuring a cartoon of Mohammed to be blocked.

Turkey has a long record of censoring internet access. Last year, the government temporarily blocked access to Twitter over tweets linking the prime minister to corruption and imposed a two-month ban on YouTube.

Following the attack on Charlie Hebdo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that the company would “never let one country of group of people dictate what people can share across the world.”

However, Facebook has complied with censorship requests from the Turkish government. In its latest Global Government Requests Report, which was published in November 2014 and covers the first half of that year, the company stated that it removed 1,893 ‘pieces of content’ at Turkey’s request.

It’s not clear whether Facebook has yet complied with the latest court order. We’ve contacted Facebook for comment and will update this story if we hear more.

Turkish court orders Facebook to block pages insulting Mohammed [Reuters]

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