The Daily Dot has reported that Twitter is actively censoring users in Turkey:
The Daily Dot has previously reported that Twitter is censoring journalists’s accounts at the request of the Turkish government. The company appears to be censoring their followers’ accounts as well for “retweeting and liking” journalists’s tweets.
The 5th Criminal Judgeship of Peace in Ankara, a court in Turkey’s capital, ordered a ban this year on 48 Twitter accounts that “spread posts of [journalist] @kamilmaman on Twitter by retweeting and liking [his tweets].” The judge listed 23 accounts who liked and 25 accounts who retweeted Kamil Maman, a former reporter of Bugün TV.
The station was a critical Turkish channel that was raided violently by the police in October—four days before general elections—to replace its editors with government-appointed trustees. During the scuffle, Maman was handcuffed, dragged to the street, beaten by the officers, and spent the night in police custody; other journalists who opposed the new trustees’ editorial policy were fired on the spot.
This is a dangerous precedent for Twitter to set.
While used to promote itself as a platform for free speech, it has clearly lost its way. It is one thing to censor users posting harmful messages such as pro-ISIS propaganda. It is completely different, and wrong, to go along with a court order to censor journalism.
Turkey does not have freedom of the press. According to Reporters Without Borders, Turkey ranks at 151 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom index.
REGATED has covered Gab.ai extensively, which promotes itself as a free speech, Twitter-alternative platform that does not censor its users. It is time for reporters to switch to free speech platforms that will not kowtow to oppressive governments. The freedoms of the press and speech are vital to an open and prosperous democracy.
The freedoms of the press and speech are vital to an open and prosperous democracy. It’s time that more sites stood up for these values.
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