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Istanbulsh*t: What Youtube Users in Turkey Need to Know

As explained in the official press release, this local representative will be the government’s sole point of contact.

The Latest: What Youtube Users in Turkey Need to Know

Youtube, a US-based video-sharing platform, had launched its operations in Turkey back in 2012. Immediately after the launch, the platform became home to many successful Turkish creators who bring significant contributions to the country’s economy. From teachers to journalists, entrepreneurs, and entertainers, Youtube serves as a stable platform for sending global messages. It also serves as a hub for creativity, ideas, learning, and of course, a great source of information. However, as the country is working on amending its law for online platforms, the team behind Youtube has no choice but to make some adjustments. 

As per the official announcement, Youtube understands what its platform plays in society. They will do everything in their power to protect the platform and its global goals for the benefit of Turkish users. 

Notably, Youtube has spent the last few months brooding over the latest amendments on Turkey’s Internet Law No. 5651. The recent announcement states that the country’s social media platforms have to adhere to a new set of requirements. The list includes a local representative’s appointment, compliance with the response and removal turnaround times, and disclosure of transparency reports twice a year. 

BuyViewsReview states that YouTube strongly complies with every country’s laws and regulations. The management ensures its users that they can still practice and maintain their commitment to their mission and vision statements, including access to safe and reliable information, freedom of expression, and full transparency to our users. In Turkey’s case, Youtube confirmed that they already know how to move forward under the amended law. They will appoint a local representative in Turkey to ensure that the platform violates no law and regulations without compromising the platform’s known values.  

YouTube Views From Turkey Are Critical

As explained in the official press release, this local representative will be the government’s sole point of contact and the official legal representative of the US-based company. However, this move will notably make no changes to how Youtube reviews its content and handles its user data. This is especially true given the myths around buying YouTube views from Turkey in ad-view formats.

At the time of this writing, Youtube is notably reviewing the removal requests as set forth by the Turkish governments. They rely on the appropriate legal processes and are willing to disclose such information in their transparency report. But in doing so, the online video sharing platform clarifies that they will perform such changes without compromising their transparency standards. They also added that a continuous evaluation of the government’s requests is taking place to ensure Turkish users’ utmost safety and benefit. 

Aside from making amendments to its existing social media laws, Turkey is poised to make significant governance changes. In the recent news, it has been said that the government had approved a new law that would tighten the monitoring efforts over civil society groups in the country. However, the approval made last Sunday had sparked criticisms from over 600 civil society groups. The representatives of these parties stressed that the newly-approved law is against another law that guarantees Turkish people the freedom of association.

The Latest: What Youtube Users in Turkey Need to Know

YouTube Will Appoint Turkey Representative in Line With Its New Law

Moreover, the social media giant will appoint a local representative to Turkey. This step is designed to comply with the new media law of the country.

As per the announcement of state media, Turkey posed a fine for Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in the last two months. the fine, which caused each company 40 million lira, was given because the three did not comply with the law. Critics said that what the social media giants did open an opportunity to people who have relied on online platforms as Ankara began tightening its laws that cover mainstream media. 

YouTube is owned by Aphabet Inc’s Google. In a statement, the company said that it respects the laws and regulations of the countries where YouTube operates. It added that it is maintaining its commitments to access to information, freedom of expression, as well as transparency. 

The video-sharing platform also said that it was able to seek a way forward. Now, it will continue its plan to appoint a local representative legal entity in compliance with the law. However, YouTube will also make sure that it will not compromise its values.

Turkey’s Law On Social Media Platforms

The aforementioned law allows Turkish authorities to take down content from online platforms. This is much lighter as the country blocks access to platforms in the past. In addition, it requires social media companies to appoint a local representative who will address authorities’ concerns. 

Moreover, companies that still would not follow the law after fines were given will have their bandwidth reduced by 90 percent. Such essentially means that access to those social media platforms will be blocked in the country. The regulation also says that once the companies comply, the Turkish authorities will lift the restrictions. in addition, it will collect only a quarter of the imposed fine

Turkey’s Social Media Laws Threatens Freedom of Expression

In its decision to appoint a local representative, YouTube had little to no consultation with the main civil society groups who are working on issues related to free expressions in Turkey. However, its statement said that it will continue preserving the openness and vibrance of the platform. It added that it will not change how it reviews requests for content removal, as well as the way it handles user data.

The Latest: What Youtube Users in Turkey Need to Know

YouTube’s announcement of appointing a representative is both troubling and disappointing. It seems like the company failed to understand the existing threats and violations to free expression in Turkey. Appointing a local representative will even facilitate further erosion of that right. 

Moreover, critical expression is censored routinely in Turkey. In addition, far-reaching executive influence over courts only means that the judiciary seldom protects freedom of expression. 

furthermore, social media companies are perfectly aware of the enormous number of such requests from Turkey. They know that those laws violate the freedom of expression and information. This is the reason why the country cannot be considered a safe operating environment for social media companies.


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