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Turkish social media bill presages 'new dark era' of censorship,…

By Ali Kucukgocmen ISTANBUL, July 28 (Reuters) – A proposed law that Lawyer Turkey says will make social media companies more accountable to local regulations will rather increase censorship and accelerate a trend of authorities silencing dissent, critics including a U.N.body said this week. The Turkish parliament was to begin debate on Tuesday on the bill that is backed by President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, which has a majority with an allied nationalist party. It is expected to pass this week. As an overwhelming majority of the country’s mainstream media has come under government control over the last decade, Turks have taken to social media and smaller online news outlets for critical voices and independent news. Turks are already heavily policed on social media and many have been charged with insulting Erdogan or his ministers, or criticism related to foreign military incursions and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The law would require foreign social media sites to appoint Turkish-based representatives to address authorities’ concerns over content and includes deadlines for its removal. Companies could face fines, blocked advertisements or have bandwidth slashed by up to 90%, essentially blocking access. “Social media is a lifeline… to access news, so […] read more
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