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Happy birthday: Twitter banned in Turkey

As of March 2014, Twitter is officially 8-years-old, but not everyone gave the social media bird a happy birthday wish. Twitter has recently been banned in Turkey, according to news reports today.

Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey corruption posted on social media sites.
Adam Berry Getting Images
Twitter turns 8-years-old and banned in Turkey
Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan has been outspoken with his disgust for social media sites, and his vengeance is making progress, which is to shut them down.

Honestly, can a Turkey ban a Twitter?

While others are wishing Twitter happy birthday, courts in Turkey blocked access to the site just before elections are to take place, according to Reuters.

It seems Erdogan has been tied to many corruption scandals, which were reportedly displayed on various social media sites. With the upcoming elections it seems he wants to destroy any allegations tied to his name. Erdogan and his government allies have been on a mission to control the Internet, because he believes social media is being used to tarnish his name. But why doesn't he seek the individual posts to be taken down if they are legally found to be lies?

His actions seem to indicate there might be something to hide since he is going to the extreme by banning the entire site of Twitter in Turkey, along with targeting other social media sites. But such bans have only created other paths for people in Turkey to communicate.

In fact, people are using virtual private networks to mock Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Apparently #TwitterisblockedinTurkey is the distress hashtag created after users were blocked from Twitter. And not all government officials agree with the Erdogan's harsh actions, and believes there is a better approach.

President Abdullah has said, entire social media sites shouldn't be banned, and believes there does seem to be much needed laws around media sites that violate personal privacy.

"A complete ban on social media platforms cannot be approved," President Abdullah Gul said.

No doubt social media sites do play a vital role for society, however where should the laws stand for privacy rights, if any?

Today the United Kingdom government issued a press release, urging Turkey authorities to "reconsider any ban on access to social media."

We are concerned about reports suggesting that access to Twitter from Turkey may be blocked.

Social media has a vital role to play in a modern democracy, and helps to promote transparency and vibrant public debate.

Does it seem like social media sites have an obsolete way of helping to protect privacy rights?

Whereas, Twitter's Help Center has specific illegal postings not allowed on Twitter, but states, "each user is responsible for the content he or she provides." And Twitter only actively monitors, or censors user content within their limited rules.

Or look at Facebook for example; if someone has posted something about you that you have not allowed -- Facebook asks you to directly contact that person to ask them to take the information down.

Do you think social media sites should provide stronger oversight to protect users privacy rights?

Among Twitter banned in Turkey, "#HappyBirthdayTwitter."

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