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Twitter says it will appoint rep in Turkey to comply with social media law

Twitter says it will appoint rep in Turkey to comply with social media law
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Twitter on Friday announced that it plans to establish a legal representative in Turkey, making it the latest social media company to do so to ensure compliance with a new internet law in the country. 

Twitter said in a statement that upon reviewing the new law, which requires representatives for social media platforms to review content flagged for privacy violations, it had decided to “establish a legal entity” in order to “ensure that Twitter remains available for all who use it in Turkey.” 

“In coming to this decision, we were guided by our core mission: defending open, public conversation and ensuring our service is available to people everywhere,” Twitter added. 

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“We remain committed to protecting the voices and data of people in Turkey who use Twitter,” the statement said. “We will continue to be transparent about how we handle requests from government and law enforcement.” 

According to The Associated Press, social media companies under the Turkish law must answer requests to take down information violating privacy and personal rights within 48 hours, either by removing the content or by providing a justification for not doing so. 

A social media platform can be held liable for damages should the specified content not be removed within 24 hours following a decision, the AP noted. 

Turkey in January issued advertising bans on Twitter, as well as Periscope and Pinterest, in a move to push the platforms to comply with the law passed last year. Critics have argued that the law could allow the Turkish government to curb dissent within the country. 

That same month, Facebook announced that it had initiated the process of appointing a legal representative in Turkey to comply with the social media law, though the platform said in a statement that it would not be changing its community standards or its process of reviewing government requests.

“We will withdraw the representative if we face pressure on either,” Facebook said at the time. 

YouTube in December said it would comply with the new law after facing fines for not doing so. 

“We have been able to find a way forward and will commence the process of appointing a local representative legal entity in compliance with the law, without compromising our values," YouTube said in a statement.