Journalist Twitter Accounts In Turkey Face Censorship While Twitter Remains Silent

A long time ago (long time by internet standards), Twitter was a symbol of free speech that Internet rose to new heights. You could talk about things that weren’t talked about in mainstream media, you could gain followers sharing your ideas, start a movement, organize a protest, share it via Periscope, critic your government, and generally be a voice of reason in environments where mindedness swept over people.

In Serbia, for instance, the current government carries out massive censorship of mainstream media, many newspapers and television channels don’t talk about real problems, sending the image of progressive and highly develop country while the reality is far from the sunshine headlines seen on those media outlets. While on Twitter you’ll get a different image, an image of society on a path of becoming another western neo-colonial state, where domestic industry is designedly destroyed by our government in order for foreign companies to come, give citizens abhorrent low-paid jobs, while most of the profit is sent out of the country.


Recently, Twitter slowly started to become a place where liberals push their political correctness agenda, where you can get banned just for speaking the truth if the said truth offends anyone. But now, it seems Twitter went overboard since many reports claim that in post-coup Turkey, one of the biggest social networks started to carry out massive censorship campaign of journalist accounts.

Simply put, Twitter censors accounts belonging to journalists targeted by the Turkish government for the ban. Two court orders, one issued on July 23 and the other on July 25, made Twitter suspend 12 journalists’ and three media outlets’ accounts. But it gets even worse. A list of recently censored journalists’ shows 26 accounts that got withheld, half of them verified on Twitter.

While some of the accounts banned could be described as anti-government, like the ones belonging to reporters and editors of the Zaman Amerika daily, an outlet that got shut because of its ties to Fethullah Gülen, a former imam and now a political dissident living in the U.S; a person Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claims is responsible for recent failed coup, other accounts belonging to important and popular figures like Kurdish journalist @AmedDicleeT, or to the official Kurdish news agency @DicleHaberAjans. This shows that Twitter is, at the end, a privately owned company that would do all just to not get prosecuted and fined by any government. A poor attempt at showing its “free speech” policy is to keep accounts of Turkey researcher at Amnesty International, @andrewegardner, even though the account is listened in the court order; Turkish basketball player, Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter), playing for OKC Thunder, also got censored in Turkey, even though he lives in the U.S.

This shows us that our freedom of speech is just a smart ruse; if your government think that you’re not a threat you’ll be left alone, but if the government sees you as a hazard, and has enough power (like Turkey has) to make big companies like Twitter bow to their will, you can say goodbye to your legitimate freedom of speech right. So, all you liberals trying to make people get banned from Twitter just because they “offended” anyone, think a bit about it. Because if the trend continues, soon you’ll get banned just because you wrote something that your government thinks is against its (inter)national interests.


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