For those who follow international news you may have seen that Turkey is currently experience some civil unrest which the government has made efforts to contain and control. In an effort to control the protesters the Turkish government has been coming down quite hard on people and a lot of arrests have been made so far. This has only sparked more discontent among protesters causing the numbers involved to actually grow.
Part of the Turkish government’s strategy has been to use Twitter as an identification tool to find protesters and they have already arrested some people for the Tweets they have been making. We are seeing Twitter playing an important role in social movements and this isn’t the first time as Twitter was very influential in the so called “Arab Spring” too.
Twitter have refused to cooperate with the Turkish government as they have no legal obligation to comply with government requests from Turkey. While Twitter has hundreds of thousands if not millions of Turkish users it doesn’t actually have an office there meaning it doesn’t pay taxes in Turkey and isn’t subject to Turkish law. This means it can legally reject Turkish government requests.
The Turkish government says the company should have an office there as it does business there although I disagree myself – Twitter does business on the internet, if every internet company had to have an office in every country it had readers/users then every internet company would probably rapidly become bankrupt.
The Turkish police have vowed to continue to use Twitter as a tool to go after protesters but they will have to go at it alone without the help of Twitter.
Image courtesy of Twitter