Twitter has been the talk of the town for quite some time now and not just in the United States of America, in India and now in Turney as well. The social media platform is one of the biggest platforms on the internet today but the idea of free speech and expression against political pressures have once again pulled Twitter down for trouble, this time in Turkey.
According to a recent report by The Verge, Twitter has formed a new entity in Turkey to follow up with the country’s social media laws. These laws are one for the heated conversations called the Internet law 5651. This law requires social media giants that have more than 1 million users to store local user’s information inside the country for security purposes.
Anyhow, Twitter was aware of this law in Turkey because Facebook, YouTube and TikTok have already complied with these laws and created their own individual entity within Turkey to store resident’s user information. But still, Twitter defended this decision by pulling out its famous “right to free speech and expression” card with a goal to make the service available wherever possible.
The Internet Law 5651 is one of those laws that are meant to tackle internet crime and protect user’s information and rights. However, critics argue that it really is just a tactic to limit free speech in the country and that it has nothing to do with protecting user’s privacy. With this law where social media giants set up local representatives within the country, the government will then have the power to force these platforms to delete policy-violating material or anything that goes in the opposite direction of where the government wants its citizens to go. However, there have been past reports where the Turkish government has been tagged with a reputation to use social media bans to limit the flow of information within the country and outside its borders which might challenge their political leadership and the government at large.
Anyhow, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and even Twitter have been previously fined with USD 5.1 million each which makes 40 million lire for not setting-up local representatives within Turkey.
Twitter is one platform that has been constantly battling with this sword called ‘protection of the public’s free speech and expression’ against the government’s pressures to comply with the norms and regulations. There have been recent instances in India and the United States with Twitter where their respective governments have asked the platform to delete certain content from their platform that is agitating and aggravating the public, but Twitter always replies back with the same mantra- the right to free speech and expression should not be compromised.
Twitter has been in trouble for the same before and continues to do it. We hope it finds the right balance between the two options.