Turkey has issued fines against global social media companies for failing to appoint a representative to ensure they comply with Turkish law, according to a senior official.
This action follows Turkish legislation passed in July and entered into force on 1 October, which established state control over technology companies. The announcement was made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July this year, and the measures are already being implemented.
How are technology companies affected?
Omer Fatih Sayan, chairman of the Authority for Information and Communication Technologies, said that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and TikTok will be fined with 10 million Turkish pounds – about $ 1.2 million – each.
Fines are the first step on an increasing scale of sanctions that could end up blocking 90% of the bandwidth of internet site traffic.
Social media companies with more than 1 million daily users in Turkey had to announce to the government that they would establish a representative in the country by Monday.
“I have full confidence that social network providers will make notifications for representatives in our country as the legal process progresses,” Sayan, who is also the deputy minister for transport and infrastructure, wrote on Twitter.
“Our goal is not to be in conflict with these providers who serve billions of people around the world.”
The legislation was passed in July, less than a month after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the “cleaning” of social networking sites following a personal insult – his daughter and son-in-law were insulted on Twitter after the birth of the second. their fourth child.
Thus, according to the legislation introduced by Erdogan, the platforms with over one million daily users had the obligation to appoint a responsible representative before the Turkish courts.
Also, in case of notification of the “offensive” content, these representations had the obligation to respect the orders of elimination of the content within 48 hours from the notification. The legislation also regulated the location of user data storage, which was to be in Turkey.
Critics say the law is a government attempt to control the online sphere, after about 90% of newspapers and TV news channels are controlled by the government or its supporters.
Turkey has previously blocked sites, including YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia, for what it claimed to be offensive content.