Facebook Bows to Threats and Bans “Anti-Islamic” Pages in Turkey

Rather than be subject to being blocked entirely in Turkey, Facebook has agreed to block “anti-Islamic” content within the country after a Turkish court order. Gölbaşı Criminal Court of Peace in Ankara issued the order on Sunday, threatening to block Facebook outright if the social media site did not comply, as it has done previously with YouTube and Twitter.

Ironically, Ahmet Davutoğlu, the Prime Minister of Turkey, was present at the recent demonstrations in Paris supporting freedom of speech following the Charlie Hebdo shootings earlier this month. Yet, Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet is facing legal action after reprinting Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.

Davutoğlu was recently quoted as saying that the freedom of expression that he supports “does not grant anybody the right to insult another’s beliefs,” and that “In this country, we don’t allow insults to the Prophet. This is a very clear, sharp and principled stance. Everybody should know this,” making his appearance in Paris seem rather confused.

Source: Ars Technica

Sony Tries to Stop Email Leaks with DMCA Claims

There are always some people that become citizen journalists when the mainstream media fails to pick up on something or cover it as deeply as they would like, and the musician Val Broeksmit is one of them. Not satisfied with the media coverage, he started to tweet (@BikiniRobotArmy) small excerpts from the hacked Sony emails that he felt overlooked or uncovered.

In return, Sony issued legal threats to him and twitter on the 22nd December, but without any effect and the tweets remained online. Two days later Sony then instead claimed copyright infringement on the 20 tweets and tried to get them removed that way. A week later only two of the 20 tweets had been removed and Twitter doesn’t seem to budge further.

Twitter in itself has been a key player before when it came to freedom of speech and citizen journalists, and thankfully it looks like it takes a bit more than a takedown notice from Sony UK to have them act in blind and in haste. And honestly, given twitters character limitation, the published information is severely limited.

Thanks to Ars Technica for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of John Savageau’s

Twitter User And Comedian Alan Davies Fined £15,000 For Re-Tweet

Given the free flowing nature of Twitter, not to mention the amount of times we hear words like “freedom of speech”, one would be lost to think you can land £15,000 in fines for re-tweeting someone else’s message to your followers, but that is exactly what is happening.

People re-tweet lies, misinformation and more on a daily basis, it is pretty much a fact of the internet that this will happen, but one British Lord is targeting over 20 of the 10,000 people who re-tweeted a message that wrongly claimed the Lord was a child molester, Alan Davies was one of those 10,000 people and has since paid up £15,000 ($25,000) to settle the lawsuit with the Lord in question.

Now that is a serious accusation, but where do you draw the line on what can be fined and what cannot, how do you discriminate the 20+ people out of the other 10,000 who sent the message, how can £15,000 be a suitable fine for a simple re-tweet (regardless of its contents). Should the fine not be stuck to the person who actually wrote the tweet? Not just some people who believed it?

One thing is for certain, this case raises more questions that it answers and it certainly puts Twitter in a difficult position as it’s becoming harder and harder to keep track of what you can and cannot do on social media channels, especially when it comes to expressing personal opinion.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.