Tweeting continues in Turkey despite government ban

By Kyle Johnson,

Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on Thursday that the government would be banning Twitter. Though usage was supposed to be blocked, it seems that stopped few people from actually tweeting. In fact, it seems to have done the exact opposite.

According to NBC News, the actual implementation of the ban was weakly done.

"It's more of a political statement than an effective ban," said Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina's School of Information and Library Science. "If you can operate a computer at a minimum level, you can get around it."

It seems Turkey's attempt to block Twitter was to simply enact domain name settings (DNS) blocks, which users can get around by altering their DNS to make it appear they are not in Turkey and thus restore access to Twitter. People took to Facebook, social messaging services like WhatsApp and even spray painted walls with information on how to get around the DNS block.

Tufekci noted that many in Turkey probably know how to get around the blocks because of a period where YouTube was banned for two years. That "trained a whole generation on basic circumvention techniques."

As previously reported, Erdogan spoke at a press conference about how the country will "eradicate Twitter." He also let it be known that outside opinion wouldn't stay his decision.

The Twitter ban comes less than two weeks ahead of municipal elections and after numerous leaks from a corruption investigation into several allies of Erdogan. He has tried to interfere with progress of the probe by firing thousands of prosecutors and police.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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