Twitter 'does not have perspective' on Gezi protests: CEO
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo took part in a discussion on social media on June 26 at the Brookings Institution in Washington. He answered questions regarding Turkish social media users' activity on the micro-blogging network during the Gezi protests. AFP photo
Twitter "does not have any perspective" on the Gezi Park demonstrations, the micro-blogging website's CEO, Dick Costolo, said today with regard to the postings on its social network during the month of nationwide protests Turkey.
"You can use our open public platform to say what you believe. That's what users in Turkey are doing," Costolo said during a conference at the Brookings Institute in Washington.
Hashtags related to the Gezi Park protests have frequently featured at the top of the list of worldwide trends. However, Turkish police have arrested dozens of protesters for their posts on the network, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accusing Twitter of being a "troublemaker." "The finest lies are on it," he said during the first week of the protests.
Costolo said he was aware of Erdoğan's remarks about Twitter, and said he was "closely following" what was happening in Turkey.
"We don't editorialize what's on [Twitter]. The platform itself doesn't have perspective on this," he said.
Hours earlier, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yıldırım had said that Twitter had refused the government's offer to cooperate about the posts during the protests.
"Our friends have initiated contact [with social media executives] as is due. Some have approached [the issue] positively but unfortunately Twitter did not look positively on cooperation. This is an important development," he said, also calling on the social media network to open an office in Turkey as Facebook has done.
However, despite Yıldırım's claims to the contrary, Facebook later denied having agreed to share data with the Turkish authorities in a statement.