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Friday, March 21, 2014 6:54 PM

Digital Coup: Twitter Use Jumps to New High in Turkey

Mish Moved to MishTalk.Com Click to Visit.

I am absolutely laughing my head off at the sheer stupidity of bureaucrats who think they can control social media.

Earlier today in response to Turkey Blocks Access to Twitter for National Security Reasons I commented ...

"No one will see the "power" of the Turkish Republic in idea suppression announcements. They will see the arrogance, cowardice, and desperation of prime minister Erdogan."

Twitter Use Breaks New Record

Tonight I am pleased to report Twitter Use Jumps to New High in Turkey

Turkish users of Twitter, including the country's president, have flouted a block on the social media platform by using text messaging services or disguising the location of their computers to continue posting messages on the site.

In what many Twitter users in Turkey called a "digital coup", Telecom regulators enforced four court orders to restrict access to Twitter on Thursday night, just hours after the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, vowed to "eradicate" the microblogging platform in an election speech.

The disruption followed previous government threats to clamp down on the social media and caused widespread outrage inside and outside Turkey. In a first reaction to the ban, Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European commission, tweeted: "The Twitter ban in #Turkey is groundless, pointless, cowardly. Turkish people and intl community will see this as censorship. It is."

Štefan Füle, EU commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, said in a statement: "The ban on the social platform Twitter.com in Turkey raises grave concerns and casts doubt on Turkey's stated commitment to European values and standards."

The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey quickly rose to the top trending term globally. According to social media agency We Are Social the number of tweets sent from Turkey went up 138% following the ban.

On Friday, Turkey woke up to lively birdsong: according to the alternative online news site Zete.com, almost 2.5m tweets – 17,000 tweets a minute – have been posted from Turkey since the Twitter ban went into effect, setting records for Twitter use in the country. "Boss, my bird is still tweeting… @RT_Erdogan," posted @Fakir_Bey. "And yours?"

Meanwhile Twitter is looking into legal action against the ban and has hired a lawyer to discuss the case with the telecommunications authority in Ankara.Industry minister Fikri Işik said that Twitter needed a permanent legal representative in Turkey to facilitate all negotiations with the Turkish authorities.

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's party (CHP) also announced that it would challenge the blocking of Twitter in court, citing a violation of personal freedoms. The local bar association filed a separate criminal complaint against the ban.

Social media played a big role during last summer's anti-government protest, prompting Erdogan to call Twitter "a menace to society".

Several human rights groups strongly condemned Turkey's move, warning that the ban spelled a further worrying move towards increased authoritarianism in the country.

"The decision to block Twitter is an unprecedented attack on internet freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey. The draconian measure, brought under Turkey's restrictive internet law, shows the lengths the government is prepared to go to prevent anti-government criticism," said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International's Turkey researcher, in a public statement.
Arrogance, Cowardice, Desperation

So much for the extreme arrogance of Prime minister Erdogan who banned Twitter for "national security" reasons.

Erdogan told an election rally in the western city of Bursa "The international community can say this or that – I don’t care. They will see the power of the Turkish Republic."

Erdogan is a complete fool who is now officially "burnt toast". He is gone except by military force, and even that won't last.

Please tweet this post in the appropriate places, especially my comment (slightly modified) to fit tweet length ...
No one will see the "Power of the Republic" in Erdogan's announcement. They will see arrogance, cowardice, and desperation.

By the way, if you get the idea things are blowing up all over Europe, it's because they are.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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