Legislation requires social media giants to set up offices in Turkey and includes penalties for not removing offending posts.
Turkey has rolled out strict new social media restrictions that force large social media platforms to open offices in the country or face penalties.
The measures, which came into force on Thursday, also include penalties for the platforms if they fail to take down contentious posts.
The legislation was passed by parliament in July with the backing of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its ally ultra-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Under the new rules, platforms with more than one million daily users have to open commercial offices in Turkey to implement local court judgements in removing offending content within 48 hours.
In case they do not comply, the companies may face restrictions on advertising, fines of up to 40 million Turkish liras (approximately $5m) and bandwidth restrictions of up to 90 percent, which would unstabilise and make it hard to access the platforms.
Iain Levine, Facebook’s human rights officer, tweeted on September 28 that the new legislation “raises many concerns (about) human rights”.
Emma Sinclair-Web, Turkey director of US-based Human Rights Watch, described the legislation as “draconian”, and called on social media giants not to comply with it.
“Twitter @Policy & @Facebook should avoid the terrible precedent it sets and not comply & Turkey’s authorities should backtrack,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
The AK Party, however, has refuted criticism of the legislation, claiming that the new measures do not threaten freedoms.
“We aim to end insults and swearing on social media and harassment through this form of media,” Ozlem Zengin, the party’s deputy group chair, said during a debate on the bill in parliament.
“We’re aware of its place in our lives and we’re also aware of the extent of its use, but, in this sense, there is a series of tiered sanctions [in the new measures] trying to set a balance between freedoms and rights and justice,” she added.
Ibrahim Aydemir, an AK Party politician, said in a tweet on Thursday that the new measures aimed to protect people’s “honour, dignity and pride”.
Erdogan, who has more than 16.5 million Twitter followers, has expressed his views against social media several times in the past.
Weeks before the new legislation was adopted, The Turkish president promised to tighten government control over social media after “insults” were directed at his daughter and son-in-law when they announced the birth of their fourth child on Twitter.
Erdogan then promised new legislation by the year’s end to stringently regulate “immoral” social media.
Twitter and YouTube were blocked in Turkey for a brief period in 2014 before the local elections following an alleged corruption scandal, which was spread via online video tapes.
Social Media Buzz: Trump Casts Ballot, SpaceX Launch, McBroken – BNN
(Bloomberg) — What’s buzzing on social media this morning:
A mask-wearing President Donald Trump cast his ballot in person in West Palm Beach, Florida, Saturday morning. “I voted for a guy named Trump,” he told reporters.
Brooklyn Museum is trending as people share photos of long lines, hours before early voting started in New York state.
SpaceX is targeting to launch Starlink this morning after delaying it from Oct. 22 to allow more time for mission assurance work. The weather today is 60% favorable, the company said in a tweet. Projected launch time is 11:31 a.m. EDT.
Former Fox News host and Trump loyalist Kimberly Guilfoyle, who was recently accused of sexual harassment, put her Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park up for sale for about $5 million, Daily Mail reported. The pad, formerly “a taxidermist’s dream,” was transformed by Guilfoyle, who dates Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son.
A McDonald’s fan, who earlier failed to order an ice cream due to an out-of-service machine, created a website called McBroken.com to track which locations’ McFlurry machines are broken. The fast-food chain said it’s “exciting to see customer passion translate into customer-innovated solutions.”
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Nunavut politicians vote to remove minister from cabinet over social media post – Lethbridge News Now
Before casting their ballots, some members made statements on the motion.
“It is up to us, everyone in this room, to show our commitment, to stand up against racism and gender violence. Now is that time,” Savikataaq told the assembly.
“Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. Women’s rights are human rights.”
Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone, who seconded the motion, thanked Savikataaq for his “swift action” to remove Netser.
“Freedom of expression does not equal freedom from consequence. The fact that the minister is still defending his position leads me to believe that there is no remorse,” Lightstone said.
In his statement, Netser apologized to the Black community but said his comments were not based on racism or gender violence.
“My reference to ‘all lives matter’ was certainly not stated in that context. And I would not have chosen these words if I knew they could be misconstrued as attempting to negate the struggles of my Black brothers and sisters,” Netser said.
Netser also said the Facebook post was an example of free speech.
“I understand that all lives cannot matter, if Black lives don’t matter. But my post on social media was meant to bring light to those without voices, the unborn,” he said.
“I did not make those statements in the house and I did not make them as a member of the executive council, but as an Inuk that values life.”
Netser also read a letter of support into the record from a friend, which questions whether people who criticize the government will be “picked up and shipped into the dark of the night to one of the many new internment camps across Canada.”
The letter also claims the federal government pays Canadian news media and mind control is imposed on people who speak out against the government.
Netsilik MLA Emiliano Qirngnuq told the assembly he would not support the motion to oust Netser because “we do have an expression of freedom” in Canada.
“We have to think about our children and the future of our children. We have to deeply reflect on our society’s values into the future,” Qirngnuq said
Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak told the assembly Netser’s comments were concerning. And politicians can’t say whatever they want, if their words have a negative impacts on people.
Speaking to reporters after the vote, Savikataaq said the decision to remove Netser was not easy but had to be made.
Because Nunavut has a consensus-style government, only a full caucus can remove cabinet members.
Netser, who represents Coral Harbour and Naujaat, is to stay on as an MLA.
A leadership forum is expected to take place next week to select Netser’s replacement in cabinet.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian press News Fellowship
Emma Tranter, The Canadian Press
Britain's Prince Charles wrote to support historic Australian PM sacking: media – TheChronicleHerald.ca
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Charles sent a hand-written letter of support to Australia’s governor general in 1976, backing his controversial sacking of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, local media reported on Saturday.
The letter, published on Saturday by The Australian newspaper, is dated four months after Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Australia, John Kerr, took the unprecedented step to dismiss Whitlam without first warning the palace or the prime minister.
“Please don’t lose heart,” the heir to the British throne wrote in the hand-written letter to Kerr on Mar. 27.
“What you did last year was right and the courageous thing to do — and most Australians seemed to endorse your decision when it came to the point.”
The letter was revealed in an extract of a book “The Truth of the Palace Letters: Deceit, Ambush and Dismissal in 1975” by Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston, due to be published next month.
Whitlam’s firing remains one of the country’s most polarising political events because it represented an unmatched level of intervention by the Commonwealth.
Historians say the country was never told the full story behind Whitlam’s removal during a political deadlock over the Budget and in 2016, one historian sued Australia’s National Archives for access to letters between Kerr and the Queen.
In July, the 211 so-called “palace letters” were published, pulling the veil from one of the great mysteries of Australian politics, and re-igniting a conversation about whether the country should cut ties with Britain and become a republic.
(Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
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