Twitter Fights Back Over Turkey Block

by Christopher Freeburn | March 26, 2014 11:08 am

In a Wednesday post on its company blog, Twitter (TWTR[1]) announced that it has filed legal actions in Turkey[2] to contest the Turkish government’s effort to block access to the social media service.

twitter headquarters 630[3]
Source: Flickr[4]

Last week, the government of Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan began blocking the popular service, vowing to “eradicate” Twitter inside Turkey[5]. Erdogan’s government — which is facing upcoming municipal elections — accused Twitter of failing to remove certain objectionable links. Turkish officials said that they had obtained court orders to disrupt Twitter.

Twitter said it has been talking to Turkish officials in a bid to resolve the dispute.  The company says it is now working with lawyers in Turkey to challenge those rulings in three Turkish courts. Twitter noted that it had not received copies of the bans ordered by three courts before they were enforced.

One of the orders required Twitter to cancel an account that alleged corruption by a former Turkish government minister. Twitter says that it is contesting that order. Two other court orders pertained to content posted on Twitter that the companies says violated its posting rules and has already been removed.

Twitter said that while it battles the bans in court, Turkish Twitter users could use an online tool called Country Withheld Content that would allow postings to be viewed by Twitter users outside specified regions. Twitter said that it had not provided access to any user data to the Turkish government.

TWTR stock fell more than 2% in Wednesday morning trading.

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