Turkey tightens grip on social media | Ralph-Lauren

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Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority has imposed advertising bans on Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest under a new social media law, according to decisions published in the country’s Official Gazette.

The law, which critics say will stifle dissent, requires social media companies to appoint local representatives in Turkey or face a series of penalties.

It allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they did in the past.

The move has caused concern as people turn more to online platforms after Ankara tightened its grip on the country’s mainstream media.

On Monday, Facebook joined other companies including YouTube in saying it would be appointing such a representative.

The decisions revealed in the Official Gazette said the advertising bans went into effect from Tuesday.

Twitter, its live-streaming app Periscope, and image sharing app Pinterest were not immediately available to comment.

Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth would be cut by 50 per cent in April and by 90 per cent in May.

Twitter said last month it would shut down Periscope by March due to declining usage.

“We are determined to do whatever is necessary to protect the data, privacy and rights of our nation,” Sayan said on Twitter.

“We will never allow digital fascism and disregard of rules to prevail in Turkey,” he wrote, echoing tough comments by President Tayyip Erdogan.

In previous months Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had faced fines in Turkey for not complying with the law.

Companies that do not follow the law will ultimately have their bandwidth slashed by 90 per cent, essentially blocking access.

Erdogan said last week that those who control data can establish “digital dictatorships by disregarding democracy, the law, rights and freedoms”.

He vowed to defend what he described as the country’s “cyber homeland”.

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