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Monday, April 19, 2021

Turkish Regulator Fines Social Media Firms for Violating Online Law

Turkey issued fines against the world’s leading social media companies after failing to appoint a local representative to guarantee that they are complying with the country’s new internet law, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Turkey on Wednesday announced that it has issued fines against the world’s leading social media companies after failing to appoint a local representative to guarantee that they are complying with the country’s new internet law, according to a senior official.

Information and Communication Technologies Authority President Omer Fatih Sayan said that Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok would be paying 10 million liras ($1.2 million) each in monetary penalties.

Sayan also said that the social media giants have been notified about the fines. They could face more penalties in the future if they would fail to act on the new social media law.

The new legislation, which has been implemented last month, obliges all platforms with more than one million users in Turkey to appoint an official who would represent their company in Turkish courts, to obey orders for removal of “offensive” contents within 48 hours, and to store user data inside Turkey.

Several activists say that the new law is the government’s attempt to pacify dissents of people who resorted to social media platforms to raise their concerns and complaints regarding the government.

Sayan warned that the companies could face another 30 million lira ($3.5m) fine, a ban on advertisement and up to 90 percent bandwidth cut if they would fail to comply further.

He also said that the restrictions would be lifted and about 25 percent of the imposed fine would be collected if the companies would start complying with the new law.

“Our aim is not to be in conflict with these providers serving billions of people around the world,” Sayan said in a tweet.

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