Turkey imposed fines on Facebook, Twitter and three other social media companies on Wednesday for failing to appoint state representatives under the controversial law that took effect last month.
The law passed in July requires platforms with more than 1 million users to appoint representatives in Turkey. These representatives can execute court orders to remove controversial content or face high fines.
The Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Omer Fatih Sayan tweeted that Turkey has ordered Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and TikTok to impose a fine of 10 million Turkish Lira (approximately Rs 9 crore).
If these networks fail to open local offices by early December, they will be fined 30 million lire.
Failure to comply with the rule in early January will result in an advertising ban.
If social media companies still ignore Turkish law three months after the ad ban, they will see a 50% reduction in bandwidth, and then as much as 90% in the fifth and final stage.
Digital rights expert Yaman Akdeniz said that any bandwidth reduction measures will start in April and reach 90% by May, making these platforms virtually inaccessible.
Akdeniz Tweet On Tuesday, so far, only the Russian private social media company VK has appointed a Turkish representative.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is one of the most popular leaders on social media, with nearly 17 million followers and very active.
But under his government, the Turks are facing increasing prosecutions for their social media posts, especially those accused of insulting the president.
Erdogan does not conceal his disdain for social media, he threatened to “wipe out” in 2014.
The new law was passed after Erdogan expressed outrage at the online insults of Treasury Secretary Berat Albayrak and his wife, Esra.
Turks are accustomed to restricting access to websites and content. Turkish courts have submitted hundreds of content removal requests to Twitter in the past few years.
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