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POLITICS > Far from succumbing to 'the ban', Twitter usage SOARS in Turkey

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The number of Turkish tweets rose 33 percent after the blocking of Twitter, according to Somera.

The number of Turkish tweets rose 33 percent after the blocking of Twitter, according to Somera.

The number of active Twitter users, as well as tweets posted, has soared since the Turkish government blocked access to the popular social media platform.

Access to Twitter was blocked at 23:00 on March 20. However, according to figures published by social media rating agency Somera, over 6 million Turks tweeted from March 20, 23:00, to March 21, 12:00. Only 4.5 million tweets were sent the previous day in the same time slot, when there was no blocking. The difference corresponds to a 33 percent rise. 

The number of actively tweeting Turkish users has also risen by 17 percent, from 1.49 million to 1.75 million comparing the same periods. Turkish activity on Twitter had been 16 percent lower than the previous day just before the block. However, as soon as access was blocked it rose sharply, and it remained hitting record highs even at 03:00 a.m., as seen in the graph:



Most users therefore seem to have got around the access ban and entered Twitter via VPN tunnels.

The ban comes on the heels of damaging revelations following the corruption probe and the successive release of phone conversations of government officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

Some observers have interpreted the decision to ban Twitter as an attempt to prevent further damaging leaks ahead of the March 30 local polls. However, Erdoğan said the government undertook such measure “for the sake of its citizens.” “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic’s state,” he added.

March/21/2014

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