Turkey leads world again in Twitter censorship

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Twitter’s latest government transparency report has revealed the extent of the Turkish government crackdown on social media, once again making the country the leader in Twitter censorship.

According to the report, which is updated twice a year, the Turkish government made 493 requests for account information and 2,232 requests to remove accounts or content in the second half of 2016. It marked a 76 percent and 25 percent increase, respectively, from the first half of 2016.

Twitter says it did not comply with any of the information requests, and that 19 percent of the removal cases resulted in “some content [being] withheld.”

Over the past few years, Turkey’s government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has cracked down on free speech and attempted to restrict Internet and social media usage. In the second half of last year, according to the transparency report, it led the world in Twitter takedown requests. The second country listed in the report (France or Brazil, depending on the specific metric used) wasn’t even close.

Every six months Twitter issues a transparency report that explains how many government takedown requests it received during the period and how it responded to those requests.

Turkey has led the world in Twitter censorship ever since the first half of 2014. In March of that year the government temporarily banned Twitter as its then-prime minister and current President Erdoğan battled a corruption scandal.

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