How the murder of a Russian official went massively viral on Facebook

Warning: This post contains a graphic image that some readers may find disturbing.

If you have an iconic image on your hands, forget the front page: You're posting it on Facebook.

That's exactly what the Associated Press did Monday, shortly after the assassination of Andrey G. Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey. A young man shot the official to death at an art exhibit in Ankara, and the AP's Burhan Ozbilici captured the entire violent incident. 

Less than two hours after the news broke, the AP's official account for images on Facebook shared a photograph of the gunman, arm raised in triumph, standing over Karlov's body. Read more...

More about Social Media, Associated Press, Turkey, Facebook, and Tech

Turkey’s internet censorship is starting to look like China’s ‘Great Firewall’

The Turkish government is strengthening its already tight grip on the country’s internet.  

In the past, government officials have blocked Twitter, Facebook and other social networks where Turkish residents often discuss politics. These blocks have no doubt been maddening for many, but savvy internet users have been able to use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access their favorite social networks anyway. 

As of Dec. 18, Turkey has officially gone after VPNs and Tor, which had allowed users to remain anonymous, according to Turkey Blocks, which tracks internet censorship in the nation. Internet users in Turkey can still use what's called a Tor bridge or customized VPNs to get around the intense censorship, but using such tools requires a degree of technical know-how that many likely don't possess. Read more...

More about Facebook, Twitter, Censorship, Internet, and Turkey

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube blacked out in Turkey amid fears of attempted coup

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are reportedly blocked in Turkey amid talk of an attempted coup.

The social media sites were blocked on Friday as tanks barged through the streets of Istanbul during what Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called an attempted coup by parts of the nation's military. 

The military activity in Istanbul and the capital of Ankara was unexpected and sudden. Initial reports emerged of military jets flying low over Ankara while the main bridges across The Bosphorus, the water body that separates the European half from the Asian half of Istanbul, were closed by armed forces.  Read more...

More about Blocked, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Turkey

Facebook blocks pages insulting Prophet Mohammed in Turkey


Facebook has blocked an unspecified number of pages that featured content allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed on Monday, following an order from a local court in Turkey, Mashable has learned.

On Sunday, a local court in Ankara, Turkey, threatened to block Facebook entirely if the social network didn't comply with the order. But Facebook complied less than 24 hours later and blocked the content for Turkish users, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke to Mashable on the condition of anonymity.

This is just the latest example of Turkey ramping up its online censorship efforts over the past few weeks. The government has repeatedly threatened to block both Facebook and Twitter if the companies didn't comply with orders to block specific content Read more...

More about Censorship, Turkey, Internet Freedom, Facebook, and Us World

The countries that censor the most content on Facebook


As Facebook expands, countries are increasingly interested in making content on the social network disappear

Censorship on Facebook increased 19% between the first six months of 2014 and the last six months of 2013, the company revealed on Tuesday. But censorship isn't distributed evenly; some countries are more trigger-happy than others when asking Facebook to remove content.

Facebook only removed some content in 15 of the 83 counties listed on the network's third transparency report. India leads the list of content removal; Facebook restricted 4,960 "pieces of content" from the country between January and June 2014. Turkey and Pakistan follow closely with 1,893 and 1,773 "pieces of content" removed, respectively Read more...

More about Facebook, Censorship, Turkey, Transparency Report, and Us World

Facebook Denies Leaking User Data to Turkish Government


Facebook has not handed over user data to Turkish authorities during the country's ongoing anti-government protests, the company said in a Wednesday statement

Facebook's comments follow a Turkish government minister's claim that Facebook was "in cooperation with the state" while Twitter was refusing to supply user data, per NPR.

Read Facebook's full statement below:

Facebook has not provided user data to Turkish authorities in response to government requests relating to the protests. More generally, we reject all government data requests from Turkish authorities and push them to formal legal channels unless it appears that there is an immediate threat to life or a child, which has been the case in only a small fraction of the requests we have received

We are concerned about legislative proposals that might purport to require Internet companies to provide user information to Turkish law enforcement authorities more frequently. We will be meeting with representatives of the Turkish government when they visit Silicon Valley this week, and we intend to communicate our strong concerns about these proposals directly at that time. Read more...

More about Facebook, Turkey, Arab Spring, Us World, and Politics

Turkey Protests New Internet Filters

Disgruntled Turkish Internet users marched through the streets in more than 30 cities on Sunday to protest a new Internet filter system that they consider censorship.

The system will ask all users to choose from a selection of filters, including “family,” “children” and “domestic,” before browsing the Internet in Turkey. It is planned to take effect in August.

Earlier this month, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) President Tayfun Acarer told reporters that the organization had introduced the filters in response to requests for better Internet safety. Currently available filters for families and children don’t work that well, he said, and the new system includes a “standard” filter option for those who don’t want their Internet browsing experience to change.

Thousands of Turks who used Facebook to organize and attend marches on Sunday see the measure differently.

“You’d enter a channel leading you to the server of the state, which distributes the Internet to millions of users. The system enables the control of citizens…like telephone tapping,” one of the protestors, Serkan Dogan, told The Wall Street Journal.

It’s not surprising that many Turks are distrustful of the BTK’s new measures. The country has a history of Internet censorship, famously blocking YouTube in 2007 due to a video that was deemed insulting to the founder of modern Turkey. That ban has been lifted, but thousands of other sites remain blocked.

More About: censorship, facebook, filters, Internet freedom, protest, turkey

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