When I was on a business call last Friday, my client told me he would soon be vacationing in Istanbul. Normally I would be pleased for him. This time I got very uncomfortable.
You may have read about this already but for those of you who don’t know, the country of Turkey has put a ban on Twitter. A number of government leaders want to shut it down because the social media platform is supposedly reporting on political corruptions.
Officials in Turkey recently said they were in talks with Twitter about appointing a representative in Turkey that would help to block specific content when requested by Turkish courts. Twitter hadn’t commented on this yet.
Reuters reported that “Tech-savvy Turks quickly found ways to circumvent the ban, with the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey among the top trending globally on Friday.
“Twitter users called the move a ‘digital coup,’ some comparing Turkey to Iran and North Korea, where social media platforms are tightly controlled. There were also calls for protests.
“Waking up to no Twitter in Turkey feels like waking up to a coup. The modern equivalent of occupying the radio stations,” U.S. author and journalist Andrew Finkel, who has reported from Turkey for more than 20 years, said on his Twitter account.”
Mashable, the tech site, explains how Twitter users in Turkey are circumventing the ban.
Here are some recent tweets about the situation in Turkey.
the swilliest (@swillansky)
3/23/14, 8:36 PM
twitter is blocked in turkey, therefore I can no longer study abroad in Turkey.
Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews)
3/21/14, 4:20 AM
Twitter blocked in Turkey after content related to government corruption scandal is posted.
3/22/14, 3:08 PM
#Reminder: @twitter is still blocked in Turkey. Many use various programs to circumvent #ban. And many more ordinary users can’t use twitter
3/23/14, 7:30 PM
Twittet in turkey is being blocked cuz of the president im connecting from england to twitter.
michael ramirez (@radical_michael)
3/23/14, 7:18 PM
Twitter Blocked in Turkey as Prime Minister Pledges to ‘Eradicate”
Petr Gašparík (@PetrGasparik)
3/23/14, 8:59 AM
“Twitter is blocked in Turkey. On the streets of Istanbul, the action against censorship is graffiti DNS… plus.google.com/11025935092836…
Elijah Wood (@woodelijah)
3/20/14, 7:29 PM
Is Twitter genuinely blocked in Turkey? If so, this is shameful and scary.