Twitter Fights Turkish Fine For Not Removing “Terrorist Propaganda”

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Twitter was fined by Turkish authorities for not complying with their requests for removal of content they believe to be “terrorist propaganda.” Now the U.S. firm intends to fight back and has filed a lawsuit in an Ankara court on Thursday to get the fine annulled, says a report from Reuters citing a source familiar with the case.

Fine is against the law: Twitter

The material or content which is the entire cause of the feud between the US firm and Turkish authorities is mostly related to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara, the European Union and the United States have deemed a terrorist organization. A spokesperson from the micro-blogging firm has also confirmed legal action over the fine imposed. Twitter has argued in the lawsuit that the fine should be annulled on the grounds of it being against the law, the report said.

“We have shown 15-20 tweets from several accounts to Twitter as examples. We have imposed the fine because Twitter failed to comply with the court order,” the official said.

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Turkey a threat to free media?

On Wednesday, Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said that Turkey would not give up on the fine it has imposed on the micro-blogging firm. The government has also introduced legislation which makes it easier to impose such bans.

Such a tough stance on social media has been taken by Ankara Under President Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling AK Party he founded. In the past also, Twitter had been temporarily banned several times by the ruling AK party after it failed to comply with requests to remove content. However, a fine of 150,000 lira ($50,000) on Twitter in the first of its kind by Turkish authorities on the U.S. firm.

According to Twitter’s most recent transparency report, Turkey is among the top countries that send the most content-removal requests. Turkey filed 718 content removal requests with the micro-blogging firm in the first half of 2015 through government or court orders.

In March 2014, Twitter users in Turkey posted audio recordings that purported to expose government corruption, and then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” Twitter.

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