Court Rules Turkish Ban On Twitter Inc (TWTR) Illegal

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A court in Turkey ruled Wednesday the government did not have the right to ban Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) six days after the Turkish Prime Minister had threatened to “eradicate Twitter.”

Twitter “worst menace to society”

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) was “the worst menace to society,” according to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who came under fire when audio recordings of the Prime Minister surfaced on Twitter telling his son to dispose of a large sum of cash spread. During last year’s protests in Turkey, social media played a crucial role in the protests where more than 3.5 million people participated.

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“I don’t care what international community says

In June of last year, Prime Minister Erdogan said Twitter was trouble maker spreading “unmitigated lies.”  Six days ago, celebrating the initial court to ban Twitter, Erdogan said “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”

Before threatening to “eradicate” Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) Erdogan also said he would shutdown Facebook and YouTube.

Prime minister had over 4 million Twitter followers

Erdogan has been prime minister of Turkey since 2003 and was quite proficient on Twitter.  Pervious to the ban he had tweeted 3,044 times and had 4.17 million Twitter followers.

While the ban was widely bypassed by Turkish Twitter users, Twitter nonetheless welcomed the ruling, calling the government ban “disproportionate” and “illegal” and that complaints the government made had been addressed.

The ruling was in response to complaints by Turkey’s journalist union and Bar Association and it is not clear whether the ruling would be appealed.

Mr. Erdogan, for his part, remains firm, saying the ban will remain unless the service complies with local Turkish court rulings to remove some content. Twitter’s general counsel said in a statement that the company had already complied with Turkey’s request.

As previously reported in ValueWalk, the prime minister also alleged that a “robot lobby” used Twitter messages to harm the progress of Turkey and damage the ruling Justice Development Party (AKP).  “The robot lobby they set up on social media hits with tweets. They tell them to increase the number of tweets,” said Prime Minister Erdogan.

Twitter Inc (NYSETWTR) deleting fake accounts created in Turkey after conducting a brief review of the government complaints it received. In September of 2014, Turkish media reported that the Justice Development Party created a team (6,000 members) to set the agenda, drive trends, and counter its critics on social media platforms.

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Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com