Jan 26 2018

Turkey asks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube to remove posts on Afrin op

The Turkish government requested that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube remove “damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative” content regarding its military operation in Syria.

The companies are acting slowly, but responding positively to the government’s requests, an unnamed official told Turkish newspaper Habertürk.

“If the damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative content are not removed immediately, it can be too late to stop it spreading to the masses,” the official was quoted as saying. “Therefore, we act quickly and proactively.”

Turkey’s internet authority monitors users who share content that may “demoralise the Turkish troops in the front or can influence the domestic public,” the report said. The Prime Minister’s Office directly issues access bans on such content, and users who share such posts are investigated, Habertürk said. Courts affirm these bans within 24 hours, it said.

According to Turkey’s Internet Law, the government can issue bans on any online content on national security or public safety grounds.

Dozens of Turkish social media users, including journalists, have been detained for criticising Turkey’s offensive against Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara says threatens its border security.