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Blogger.com banned in Turkey

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 26-10-2008 11:13 | Category: News

Google groups, porn sites, slide.com, wordpress, YouTube… Blogger.com is the latest addition to this list of banned web sites in Turkey.
After the passing of the new law, web sites in Turkey can be banned without a warning for several reasons:

  • Obscenity: This of course leads to a whole lot of questions like “How to define obscenity”
  • Promoting drug use
  • Provoking suicide: Another open-to-interpretation clause. Would a movie about a suicidal teenager be promoting suicide?
  • Sexuel abuse of children
  • Insult to Turkishness and Ataturk
  • Prostitution
  • Gambling
  • Providing material harmful to public health

Although the law, passed seemingly to fight child porn, when the statistics are examined, the main reason of the banning of web sites, seems to be obscenity, which is 3 times more than sites shut down for child molestation.
Besides these clauses, personal insult can lead to the banning of the web site as it happenende with Adnan Oktar vs. Richar Dawkins in which Adnan Oktar, a religious writer, claimed Richard Dawkins web site was insulting his book. Therefore. The web site of a well known scientist was shut down to Turkish users with a singfle click. Adnan Oktar seems to be the reason of many other web site bannings lately, including the web site of one of the biggest newspaper’s in Turkey (Vatan) and atheist forum.

Sites are shut down, without a single warning to the owner and instead of removing the specific harmful material in question, web servers are shut down completely leading millions of web site and blog owners frustrated. That’s what has happened with geocities.com and unfortunately with blogger.com as of today (October, 24th 2008).
The banning of web sites not only violates our freedom to reach information, it also affects our work since many people earn money through blogs or other digital media. Moreover, what ever happenned to the principle: “One is innocent until proven guilty?”

Blog users in the past organized a protest in the near past in which thay shut down their blogs in order to raise public awareness on the issue. The details of the movement can be found at www.sansuresansur.org.
However, with the news of blogger being shut down, the situation seems more and more hopeless in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of press.

Source Elma+Alt+Shift

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