Turkey has imposed rigid restrictions on social media, censoring Twitter and even arresting some contributors for criticizing providing aid for victims of the devastating earthquake of February 6, 2023. This is reported by New York Post with a link to the monitoring service Netblocks.
Initially, restrictions on access to Twitter were introduced by selected providers, then it spread.
⚠️ Update: Live metrics show that the Twitter restriction in #Turkey has been extended to more internet providers. The filtering measure is likely to impact community rescue efforts underway after the series of deadly earthquakes on Monday.
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) February 8, 2023
“Update: Live metrics show that the Twitter restriction in Turkeyhas been extended to more internet providers. The filtering measure is likely to impact community rescue efforts underway after the series of deadly earthquakes on Monday,” Netblocks said in a statement.
As the New York Post writes and Turkish citizens comment on other social networks, the Twitter ban could have fatal consequences as local residents continue to rely on social media to organize, offer and learn about aid. What’s more, people who were trapped under the rubble but still had access to their phones used Twitter to share their location and call for help, The Economist journalist Piotr Zalewski wrote on Twitter.
In addition, the media reports that the Turkish police detained at least 18 people and arrested five citizens for “provocative posts” on the Internet.
According to Balkan Insight, prosecutors also opened an investigation into two journalists for calling the government’s response to the earthquake inadequate.
“Turkish authorities decided to throttle and limit access to the Twitter platformfrom Turkey while rescue efforts continue after the major earthquake,” tweeted Yaman Akdeniz, Turkish cyber rights activist. “Needless to say, keeping all communications channels open is vital during this crucial moment.”