Twitter accused of censoring messages at the request of the Turkish government, Elon Musk responds

By Le Figaro



At the head of Twitter, the billionaire Elon Musk claims to have blocked certain messages in Turkey. CHANDAN KHANNA

On the eve of the Turkish presidential election which took place this Sunday, May 14, the platform has chosen to block certain content in the country, which will nevertheless remain accessible to the rest of the world. The goal ? Avoid Twitter being banned in Türkiye.

In response to ongoing legal proceedings and to ensure that Twitter remains available to the Turkish people, we have taken steps to restrict access to certain content in Turkey today.“, communicated Twitter on May 13, via one of its official accounts. A deliberate and umed choice by billionaire Elon Muskwho justified this position by his desire to maintain the platform in Turkey, and prevent it from being blocked.

Accused on his own social network of bowing to the censorship of the Turkish government, the boss of Twitter did not hesitate to respond in person to his accusers. “What do you prefer ? See Twitter being completely banned or limiting access to a few tweets?“, he notably replied to Bloomberg journalist Matthew Yglesias who mentioned the case, asking him in ping if he had “lost my mindwhen speaking of censorship.

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History as main excuse

Impossible, however, to know the real motivations of the boss of Twitter, who nevertheless seems ready to disclose the letter from the Turkish government to plead his good faith. Some are indeed asking him for more transparency in his decision-making, and to know more about the reasons for this blockage. In response, Elon Musk ured that he “could publishthe request received by the Turkish government. Before promising:We will do it“.

As a reminder, this is not the first time that Turkey has threatened to block the social network. In 2014, when American entrepreneur Jack Dorsey was the head of Twitter, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – prime minister of the country and candidate for the presidential election – had promised the closure of the platform. “We are going to delete Twitter. I don’t care what the international community will say“, he had launched in front of his supporters. Before putting his plan into action a few days later.

Defending the freedom of expression of the oppressed Turkish people, the leaders of Twitter at the time chose to take legal action to restore the platform in the country. “Banning Twitter in Türkiye is baseless, unnecessary, cowardly. The Turkish people and the international community will see this as censorship“said Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Society.

Supported by many countries, politicians and journalists, but especially by the one who was none other than the president of Turkey at the time, Abdullah Gül, they finally obtained the reopening of the platform in court. On Twitter, the president himself had then judged “unacceptable” this “total closure“And had called for a rapid reopening of the social network. Five months later, Recep Tayyip Erdogan succeeded him as head of the country.

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