Twitter: Turkish Government Led Content Removal Requests


The social media website Twitter published a report on Monday that showed Turkey, France, and Russia submitted the most frequent content removal requests of any state.

Turkey, which finished first, filed 477 requests to remove content between July-December 2014. The Twitter report said that Turkey’s requests increased 150 percent when compared to the first six months of the year.

Russia’s Federal Service for Communications responded to the report, alleging that Twitter had violated Moscow’s laws. “Twitter systematically does not comply with the demands of Russian legislation,” said Aleksandr Zharov, who heads the agency. The report showed that the Russian government filed 124 content removal requests in 2014.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has previously described Twitter as the “murderer’s knife,” sent out his first tweet on Monday while visiting Colombia. “Get a grip of yourself against this poison,” Erdoğan wrote on Twitter, using a hashtag which translates to “Don’t give in to cigarettes” and signing with his initials, “RTE.”

“The account in question has just been opened. It’s his excellency’s own account,” stated the head of Turkey’s public communications at Erdoğan’s office.

Turkey has, in the recent past, blocked Twitter access to all of its citizens. In March 2014, the government blocked Twitter following the platform being used as a method to spread audio recordings detailing alleged corruption of the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmed Davutoglu.