Turkey slaps ad ban on Twitter under new social media laws

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Ankara has imposed advertising bans on Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest as soon as they failed to appoint local agents in Turkey under a new social media law, according to decisions has published.

Under the legislation, which critics say stifles dissent, social media firms that do not appoint these representatives are liable to get a series of penalties, such as the most recent move by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).

The law permits authorities to eliminate content from programs, instead of blocking access as they did previously. It has caused concern as individuals turn more to internet platforms after Ankara tightened its grip on mainstream media.

The most recent choices in the country’s Official Gazette explained the advertising bans went into effect from Tuesday. Twitter, its live-streaming app Periscope, and picture sharing app Pinterest weren’t immediately available to comment.

Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth could be cut by 50% in April and by 90% in May. Twitter said last month it might shut down Periscope from March because of declining use.

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On Monday, Facebook joined other businesses in stating it would appoint a local representative, but added it would draw the person if it faced pressure regarding what’s allowed on its platform.

YouTube, possessed by Alphabet Inc’s Google, stated a month ago it might abide the new legislation, which Ankara says enriches local oversight of foreign companies.

She called on them to state just how they would steer clear of this.

In previous months Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had faced fines in Turkey for not complying. Businesses that do not comply the law will ultimately have their bandwidth slashed, essentially blocking access.

Erdogan said last week that those who control info can establish “digital dictatorships by disregarding democracy, the law, rights and freedoms”. He pledged to defend what he described as the nation’s “cyber homeland”.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Jonathan Landay. Editing by Steve Orlofsky.

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