Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Twitter erupted last week when it was blocked by the Turkish government after being used to distribute material that purportedly showed corruption inside Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle.
The situation escalated over the weekend as the country blocked Twitter from the IP level — taking out Google DNS and other shortcuts used to circumvent the ban. Responding to the controversy, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek told the BBC that the block was enforced because Twitter acted “above the law” and ignored court orders.
“The Turkish telecommunications watchdog has made a number of statements saying that they have asked Twitter on a number of occasions to remove some content on the back of court orders and Twitter has been refusing to comply,” Simsek said, admitting that the episode “doesn’t reflect well” on the government.
The good news for locals is that Twitter is said to be talking to the government about remedying the situation, although it has been suggested that YouTube and other social media sites could also be cracked down on.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google ignored similar requests to remove videos related to the alleged corruption — although it remains to be seen if a ban would be pursued given the damage that events of last week caused the Turkish government.
Headline image via Ruslan Mikhaylovich / Shutterstock
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