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POLITICS > Fake social media accounts to be prevented: Turkish Deputy PM

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

As the government works on plans to fight social media crimes, Deputy PM Bekir Bozdağ suggests 'fake accounts' should be prevented

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Young people use smartphones and tablets at Gezi Park before the park was evacuated. Social media was the main tool of communication in protests. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Young people use smartphones and tablets at Gezi Park before the park was evacuated. Social media was the main tool of communication in protests. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The Turkish government’s work on regulating social media is not aimed at restricting its use, but rather at targeting fake accounts on Twitter, Facebook and similar sites, a senior government official has said, regarding the government’s disturbance at the heavy use of such means during three-week long Gezi Park protests.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said many fake accounts had been set up and that this should be prevented. “If someone is opening up an account, everybody should know the person who opened the account. When we look into the recent incidents, there are many fake accounts opened for someone else. They don’t know this. Tweets are being sent from those accounts. Provocations are being done against people. To avoid all these things, there are some regulations being made to make this place used correctly. Regulations will be shared with the public when the time comes. There will be investigations about what kind of preventive measures are taken into consideration both in Turkey and internationally,” he said.

“The opening of fake accounts will be prevented,” Bozdağ told reporters after the meeting he had with Kosovo Public Administration Minister Mahir Yağcılar and the Foreign Turks and Family Community Administration June 20.

Government officials have said they intend to regulate the use of social media, which they call the most important platform for coordinating and even provoking the Gezi Park demonstrations, which left three civilians and one police officer dead as well as hundreds injured.

Bozdağ said many lies and aspersions were spread via social media in that process and it has become where people express thoughts and feelings against each other, and that it has become like such a weapon.

“Aspersion is a crime no matter whether it is done through Facebook, Twitter, other websites or TV channels. The act of slander is a crime in common law no matter where it comes from. Complimenting a crime or a criminal is a crime no matter where it has been done. Making people stand up against each other with hatred, segregating people according to religion, language and classification and inciting people to commit crimes against each other is a crime in today’s laws and regulations,” he said.

“The police authorities are investigating these issues. Actions will be taken about them. Judicial investigations are being done into those who were distributing false statements from these websites, [and they] will continue to be investigated. Investigations about the ones who ravaged, destroyed and knocked things down are being done and will continue,” Bozdağ added.

Bozdağ said what they were trying to do about the regulations to social media was not banning or shutting down Twitter, Facebook and other websites.

“There is no such thing as banning, but we will lay down some rules, and we want everyone to know that there is not a freedom to commit crimes in this area and that if there are any deficiencies in our penalty system, those will be reviewed within principles of dissuasio,” he said.

June/21/2013

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Brit in Turkey

6/21/2013 8:09:21 PM

It could solve the unemployment problem if sufficient numbers of people were recruited to check every Twitter message.......

ninveh Assyr

6/21/2013 7:08:12 PM

I am surprised at such a lukewarm proposition. We need is to license every smartphone, tablet or a PC in the country. Citizens will need to appear before an official with ID papers and 2 letters of recommendation attesting to his/her good character, pay the appropriate fees and be issued a license to operate the device. Llicenses will be annually renewed if the person was in good standing, namely do not post anything contrary to official policies. Putting an occasioal "Like" to Erdolf will help.

Michael Johnson

6/21/2013 2:05:29 PM

Empty boast. You have no control over what accounts are opened and by whom. But, I guess this is for your less educated political base. Intelligent people know this is impossible, and chuckle at your weak play. Move along people, nothing to see here.

JRC JRC

6/21/2013 2:02:55 PM

I'm not clear on this. It's illegal to lie, commit slander, and provoke on social media, but it's not if you are a government minister / stooge? is that it, have I got it now?

Sultan Davut

6/21/2013 12:35:14 PM

KM: Word! International Istanbul Gaz Festival (international because all the foreign conspiracies....). If there is a way to confirm the identity of Twitter accounts, it's sure as hell not to protect people from false propaganda; it's so the government can track folk they don't like easier. Big Brother's getting more and more Big Sultan like, everyday.

Brian Irlanda

6/21/2013 11:58:56 AM

It is technically impossible to do this. Any measures taken can be easily circumvented. The politicians will have to accept that that people will be free to communicate and will always find a way to fight oppressors.

Misses Ataturk

6/21/2013 11:56:12 AM

"Making people stand up against each other with hatred, segregating people according to religion, language and classification and inciting people to commit crimes against each other is a crime in today’s laws and regulations" - So are you going to do anything about Mahut Macit? Are you now? The AKP man who said all atheists should be wiped out!! Are you going to do anything about that?? No I don't think so!! You lot have absolutely lost the effing plot!

Ali Kanat

6/21/2013 11:28:31 AM

i confess I am the real Çılgın Kanarya. Redhack hacked my account :'-(

Rimon Tree

6/21/2013 11:12:46 AM

@ K M "Tear Gas festival", what an ingenious expression! I sort of like your irony!

Rudi Spermon

6/21/2013 10:09:40 AM

Fake accounts?! Why, because we write the truth of what is going on here in Istanbul and the rest of the country? Minorities are being destroyed, there is less and less freedom of speech. Dictator Erdogan is getting more and more grip on the country. In ten years he has carefully paved his way and now we are finished. And his money is safe and well in Swiss bank accounts.
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