Istanbul: The Turkish government has tightened its grip on social media, which is considered to be the major weapon of ‘freedom of expression’. The Turkish parliament on Wednesday passed a bill that gives the government the right to control social media.
Human rights organizations have criticized this move of the government and termed it as an online sensor. He says that the mainstream media is already under the control of the government, in such a situation the government wants to prevent people from expressing their views by guarding the credentials on online platforms like Twitter.
This law, which makes social media sites more accountable, has the support of President Tayyip Erdogan and his nationalist allies. The law empowers authorities to remove content on social media platforms, whereas previously only access could be blocked. Under the new law, major social media companies like Facebook, Twitter will now have to appoint their local representatives in Turkey, so that complaints can be taken immediately. If this is not done then penalty will be imposed and the bandwidth of the company concerned will be cut by 90%.
Now people will be born in fear
Most of the media houses in Turkey are owned by the government, in such a situation, only social media was available to the people to speak, but now the government has also taken control over it. Istanbul Bilgi University professor and cyber expert Yaman Akdeniz said, ‘After this move of the government, people will think a hundred times before writing anything on social media. There will be fear in them that action will be taken against them.
Objective to protect data, not censorship
President Erdogan has been against the freedom of social media. He said that the reason for ‘immoral acts’ is lack of control over social media. The President has clarified on the new law that social media companies will now have to take action on all requests from local authorities such as accessing user data and deleting content. At the same time, his party AK welcomed the decision of the government, saying that the new law will not promote censorship but its purpose is to protect personal rights and data.
People were arrested for the post
Turkey recently arrested hundreds of citizens for social media posts about the Corona virus. Turkey has been at the forefront of the request for the removal of content from Twitter. In the first half of 2019, more than 6000 such requests were sent by Turkey. 408,000 websites have already been blocked in the country. In such a situation, the new law is like a complete curb on the freedom of expression of the people.