Turkey and the internet: Of tweets and twits

THE beleaguered Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, must be scared. Why else, many Turks ask, would a court on March 20th have blocked access to Twitter? Mr Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the social-media site “no matter what the rest of the world has to say about it”. Douglas Frantz, an American State Department official, likened the move to “21st-century book-burning”. Neelie Kroes, the European digital commissioner, called it “cowardly”.No sooner was the ban announced than millions of users swapped tips on how to beat it. The number of in-country tweets soared, with the hashtag #Erdoganisadictator leading the list. Turkey then became the first government to block Google DNS, which is a popular way of evading online censorship. Users turned to virtual private networks for continued access. On March 26th a court in Ankara issued an injunction against the Twitter ban. But it remains in force, and Mr Erdogan is threatening to go after Facebook and YouTube.The official reason for the Twitter ban was that the site’s administrators refused to remove content deemed by local courts “to be in violation of personal rights and privacy.” Few doubt, however, that…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/europe/21599831-how-government-censorship-backfired-tweets-and-twits?fsrc=rss|eur

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