In the United States, many casual social media users shy away from twitter because they believe only celebrities use it. However, in other countries where governments seek to control access and the flow of information to its citizen, twitter has helped to facilitate free speech for citizens where speech is regulated. In addition, twitter also provides a free and open access vehicle to facilitate community organizating and advocacy at a grassroots level which is why the Turkish government has moved to ban Twitter access to Turkish citizens.
After Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan procured a court order to ban citizens from navigating to the social media website, Twitter usage went up by 138% in the country. Users where able to work around the ban using GoogleDNS or OpenDNS. Erdogan insists the usage of Twitter is an invasion of privacy, and he vows to eradicate the social media platform unless Twitter removes what they have deemed as illegal content.
According to Reuters,
Turkey’s ban on Twitter ahead of bitterly contested elections brought a furious reaction at home and abroad on Friday, with users of the social networking service denouncing the move as a “digital coup” and the president expressing his disapproval.
A court blocked access to Twitter after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s defiant vow, on the campaign trail on Thursday ahead of March 30 local elections, to “wipe out” the social media service, whatever the international community had to say about it. Read Full Article
Despite the epic fail to ban Twitter use, the government is now taking a more aggressive action by disabling use of Twitter at the IP level which can still be circumvented by a VPN (virtual private network). However, once again, Twitter has flexed its social media muscles by releasing a tweet that some people may be woefully unaware. You don’t actually need internet service to be able to tweet or receive tweets because Twitter also works on SMS technology.
Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) March 20, 2014