Turkey: Ruling party proposes social media regulations
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Turkey: Ruling party proposes social media regulations

We aim to end insults, swearing, harassment through social media, says party deputy group chair

News Service AA

Working to fulfill a recent pledge by Turkey’s leaders, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on Tuesday submitted a new bill to regulate social media.

"We aim to end insults and swearing on social media and harassment through this form of media," Ozlem Zengin, the party's deputy group chair, told reporters in parliament.

Zengin underlined that the bill is not meant to shut down social media providers, saying: "We're aware of its place in our lives and we're also aware of the extent of its use."

"But, in this sense, there is a series of tiered sanctions [in the bill] trying to set a balance between freedoms and rights and justice."

Noting that the bill would set a formal definition of social media providers, Zengin said its foremost aim is to designate a responsible representative for investigations and legal proceedings relating to offenses on social media.

She added that if passed, the bill would require large social media providers to set up an office in Turkey.

According to the bill, foreign-based social network providers that have more than one million visitors a day in Turkey will assign at least one representative in the country.

Under the bill, social network providers would have 48 hours to respond to orders to remove offensive content.

Providers would also take necessary measures to store data on users in Turkey inside the country.

Administrative fines for providers who fail to meet their obligations would also be raised to encourage compliance.

Turkish leaders have long pushed for reforms, and recently pressed the issue after insults of family members were posted online.

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