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Free speech advocates and social media proponents are on edge concerning comments by Turkish leaders hinting at new measures that would restrict use of Twitter and other social media platforms, according to a recent article by World Bulletin.net.
Two weeks ago, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned microblogger Twitter as a provocateur spreading misinformation, suggesting the platform and "market speculators" were culprits behind recent riots in the country. Meanwhile, Ali Sahin, Deputy Chair of the AK Party, was quoted as saying: "A false tweet is more dangerous than a bomb. Social Media regulation is a must."
Though other government officials have said the country is only considering legislation to bolster security against cyberterrorism, academics and analysts are among those pushing back against stricter social media regulation, according to the World Bulletin article.
Savas Bozbel, law school dean at International Antalya University, argued that Turkey's Criminal Code already can handle social media defamation, and warns that any ham-fisted government attempts to regulate microbloggers will backfire and increase citizens' social media usage.