We’ve talked about Turkey before. It’s a hotbed of protest right now and its government isn’t a big fan of that, or social networking. In a new move, the ruling party is now hoping to coerce Twitter to set up a facility in the country, so it can have more control over how the social network operates within the country.
Turkish citizens, like those taking part in the Arab Spring before them, have been using social networks a lot throughout the protests, to help organise marches and to spread information about the brutal retaliation by state police. The Prime Minister of Turkey once called Facebook and Twitter places where you’ll hear the worst kind of lies. Now he wants someone close at hand that he can take to task for it.
“There needs to be an interlocutor we can put our grievance to and who can correct an error if there is one,” said Transport and Communications Minister Binali Yildrim (via BBC).
So far, Twitter hasn’t responded to the government request, but the BBC cites a source close to Twitter executives, who said the social network had no plans to set up an office there.
With all the recent revelations about PRISM and social networks (among other tech firms) said to be regularly handing over consumer data to authorities like the US’ NSA and CIA, it would have been a poor move by Twitter had it agreed to move an office to Turkey as it would suggest further cooperation with the government there.
KitGuru Says: I’m not that surprised about either party’s actions here. Turkey is continuing to bluster about cracking down on the online world, without any real means to do it and Twitter is hardly going to offer itself up for censorship.