In the second week of April 2014, social media site Twitter gave in to a request by the Turkish government to close a number of accounts, which officers reported had violated privacy guidelines and national security. The two anonymous accounts Haramzadeler and Bascalan had over 400,000 followers on Twitter. Followers, however, only find a line going through a red circle without anything else on the current account.
The two accounts violated the guidelines by featuring secret conversations which erupted into a corruption scandal on April 20, 2014. The conversation divulged details about the Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan as well as his officers and family members. The accounts were blocked by Twitter after the Turkish Constitutional Court granted Erdogan’s request to remove these as they implicated him and violated his confidentiality rights.
According to Twitter, it only blocked the accounts after a court order or due process. The social media site stated that it does not withhold content merely because a government leader requested such. Twitter even went on to say that it can appeal the court order if freedom of expression is threatened or violated. It also tweeted that it will not give user information to Turkish authorities without valid legal process.
The court eventually ruled that the Twitter block violated freedom of expression and ordered to lift the order. Erdogan contented the decision and said that it should be reversed. According to Erdogan, the revealed recordings were false and only fabricated to challenge his reign for 11 years.
The order was lifted on April 5, 2014. Lutfi Elvan, Minister of Transport stated that Twitter and Turkish officials agreed to remove “malicious content” as determined and ordered by the Constitutional Court. Colin Crowell, head of global policy of Twitter met with officials from Erdogans office to resolve the matter. [ More... ]