Pinterest, Twitter, and Periscope are faced with advertising bans in Turkey after they failed to follow Facebook and appoint a local representative to remove contentious posts under the country’s new media law.
However, freedom of speech defenders warned that the law was part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempt to control social media and stop any dissent against his government.
The social media legislation in the country, passed last year, meant networks with over a million users had to appoint an envoy to handle court orders to remove offending content within 48 hours.
The bans imposed on the three platforms came into force Tuesday while companies who advertise with them will also be fined, Turkey’s deputy infrastructure minister Omer Fatih Sayan said in a tweeted.
“Ankara is determined to do whatever is necessary to protect our people’s data, privacy and rights,” the minister said, “We will never allow digital fascism and rule-breaking to dominate in Turkey.”
If the networks continue to ignore the law, Turkey will cut their bandwidth by 50 percent in April then 90 percent by May, thus rendering them effectively inaccessible.
Some platforms that failed to comply by the first deadline last November, including Facebook and Twitter, were hit millions of dollars in fines.
Facebook said on Monday it will appoint a local envoy but recognised how important it was for our platform to be a place where users could exercise their freedom of expression.
It joins YouTube, TikTok and Dailymotion in compliance, drawing anger from activists. Facebook’s Russian equivalent VK opened a local office in November.