08 Jan 2016

Twitter takes legal action against 'terrorist propaganda' fine in Turkey

Social media giant Twitter has filed a lawsuit in opposition to a $50,000 fine issued by Turkish authorities for 'terrorist propaganda' hosted on its micro-blogging platform.

Twin Design

Twitter has confirmed that it is pursuing legal action, but has not yet confirmed the details. It is understood that the lawsuit will seek to annul a 150,000 lira ($50,000) fine handed to the social media group over material relating to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the Turkish government has classified as a terrorist organisation. The fine was issued when Twitter failed to remove tweets relating to the PKK after several government requests that they be taken down. The PKK is also classified as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US.

Hardline stance 

The lawsuit will be the latest chapter in an ongoing push-and-pull to determine how legally responsible social media companies are for user-generated content. Turkey has a hardline stance on online 'terrorist propaganda' and a resolute policy of pushing for content removal. Twitter's most recent transparency report shows that Turkish authorities filed 718 removal requests with the company in the first half of 2015 alone, though this is the first time a fine has been issued. Sources: Reuters UK; The Verge

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