A Turkish court reversed an earlier decision that had lifted the March 27th ban on the video sharing site. Turkey’s Telecommunication Agency had banned the service without a court order, hours after 15 videos were posted online that seemed to indicate that Turkey was planning to push into the borders of its troubled neighbor Syria.
A Turkish court then lifted the ban on April 4th, but stated that the videos that the government seeked to silence were to remained blocked. A separate court has ruled that since the videos are still on YouTube and a nationwide block on the specific URLs is not feasible according to the court, the YouTube ban is to be put back into effect. The ban is to stay in effect, the court said, until the “criminal” videos are removed from YouTube entirely.
The original YouTube ban came less than a week after a similar ban on the microblogging site Twitter. Most see this as an affront on free speech in the generally progressive Muslim nation. The Turkish government, however, maintains that the two bans are both due to legitimate reasons. The Twitter ban, which went into effect shortly after users posted information that revealed alleged corruption within the Prime Minister’s government, is due to “privacy” concerns. The YouTube ban, on the other hand, is due to “national security” concerns, says the Turkish Government. Neither ban is an attack on free speech according to Turkish officials.
Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called social media society’s “worst menace.” I suppose that depends on what side of social power structure you sit on.
[Photo Credit: Burak Su]