• Daniyar Kylyzhov

Turkey bans ads on Twitter, Periscope, and Pinterest before opening offices in the country

Turkey imposed bans on Twitter, Periscope, and Pinterest ads after companies failed to appoint local representatives in the country under a new social media law. This law allows the authorities to remove content from platforms, and not block access to it, as it was before.

The new regulations have raised public concern as people increasingly turn to online platforms for information after Ankara tightened control over mainstream media.

Twitter, Periscope, and Pinterest are not commenting on the situation.

Turkish officials said Twitter and Pinterest traffic will be cut 50% in April and 90% in May. Twitter previously said it would close Periscope by March due to declining audiences.

It is noted that all relevant government agencies will check compliance with the advertising ban, and companies that continue to post ads on these social networks will also be fined.

Facebook, meanwhile, promised to appoint a local representative in Turkey but added that it would withdraw him if faced with pressure or censorship. YouTube has confirmed similar intentions.

As noted in the Turkish branch of Amnesty International, such decisions by Facebook, Google and YouTube put them "in serious danger of becoming an instrument of state censorship."

Previously, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have already been fined for non-compliance with Turkish law.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan said last week that those who control the data can establish "digital dictatorships, ignoring democracy, law, rights, and freedoms." He vowed to defend the "cyber-home".

In January, Turkey launched an antitrust investigation against WhatsApp and Facebook in connection with a change in the messenger's privacy policy. WhatsApp began to warn users that from February 8, 2021, it will transfer all personal data to the Facebook advertising system. The Turkish antimonopoly authority considered such actions of the companies to be a violation of the country's legislation. The regulator demanded that WhatsApp and Facebook cancel the new conditions.

Later, WhatsApp announced the postponement of the effective date of the updated user agreement to May 15, 2021. The company explained this by its concern for customers and a mass of complaints from dissatisfied users.


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