The internet is in an uproar after Turkey has blocked its citizens from accessing Twitter in the lead up to elections. The decision was handed down by the country’s courts after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan threatened during a campaign speech to “wipe out” the social network.
Without wading too deeply into the geopolitical mire, the Turkish governments attack on Twitter stems from an ongoing political scandal involving Erdogan. Twitter has become a primary platform for the opposition to voice concerns of corruption at the highest levels of authority, including the publication of corroborating documents, in the days before Turkey’s next election.
The Twitter ban has seen #TwitterisblockedinTurkey move up the worldwide trending charts, while Twitter itself has encouraged Turkish users to continue tweeting via SMS, a method the government apparently cannot regulate. While authorities say they have no plans to go after other platforms like Facebook and Google+, the Turkish government led by Erdogan has a long history of beefing with social media. Erdogan threatened only weeks ago to ban Facebook and YouTube.
It is unknown if Turkey plans to ease its ban following elections or if the decision is more or less indefinite. The move to block the popular social platform certainly won’t do wonders for the world’s view on Erdogan and his cabinet.
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