Twitter has reportedly started blocking posts in Turkey on the eve of what could be one of the most significant elections in the country’s history. The move has raised concerns about the freedom of expression and the role of social media in the democratic process. The reason for the blocking of posts is not yet clear, but it has sparked a debate about the power of social media platforms to influence political outcomes. The Turkish government has previously been accused of censoring social media during elections, and this latest move by Twitter is likely to fuel further controversy. On Friday, Twitter announced that it had taken measures to limit access to certain content in Turkey. The move was made in response to legal proceedings and was aimed at ensuring that the social media platform remained available to the people of Turkey. The company made the announcement in both English and Turkish via a tweet. In accordance with their policy, the account holders have been notified of the action taken, as stated by the company. The content is set to remain accessible worldwide, according to recent reports.
Twitter didn’t say which tweets it was blocking, and the company no longer operates a communications department Engadget could contact for more information. Predictably, the decision to comply with a censorship request from the Turkish government has put a spotlight on Elon Musk’s free speech beliefs. On Friday, Musk, who named Linda Yaccarino as the next CEO of Twitter that same day, lashed out at Bloomberg columnist Matthew Yglesias when he suggested the decision “should generate some interesting Twitter Files reporting.”
“Did your brain fall out of your head, Yglesias? The choice is to have Twitter throttled in its entirety or limit access to some tweets. A question was posed to the individual regarding their preference. Musk tweeted at Yglesias. As The Washington Post notes, Sunday’s election could have significant ramifications for Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in power for two decades, is currently facing a significant challenge to his presidency – the most credible one in recent times. Ahead of Sunday’s contest, most polls showed opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu had a slight lead on his opponent. Kilicdaroglu, if elected, has pledged to revamp the nation’s domestic policy. The potential impact of Erdogan’s defeat on Turkey’s relationship with other powers in the region, such as Russia and NATO, is being closely watched. According to a report by CNN, in the event that a candidate fails to secure over 50 percent of the vote, the country has scheduled a run-off election for May 28th. At present, Erdogan is leading Kilicdaroglu by 11 percentage points, but the situation may change as additional ballots are tallied, according to the latest report.
Twitter now appears to require all advertisers to be verified.