AKP’s social media regulation won’t restrict freedom of expression: Minister
The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) work on social media regulation will not allow “censorship” or harm freedom of expression and criticism, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on Sept. 12 while speaking to Kontv
He was elaborating on the social media law proposal, which is expected to be presented to the parliament in the new legislative term.
Gül refuted any legislative attempt to restrict “freedom of thought” in social media platforms, saying, “The AK Party will never allow censorship, anything to abolish criticism and freedom of expression.”
“The AK Party has judicial packages stating that criticism does not constitute a crime. Criticism and insult are different from each other. It is the judiciary that will evaluate this. As in every field, we cannot have a prohibitive understanding in this field as well,” Gül said.
A study has been carried out with all institutions of the state to draw up the draft law, Gül said, emphasizing that the purpose of this work was to ensure that people and institutions were not exposed to disinformation on social media.
The AKP focused on measures that needed to “prevent attacks on personal rights and protect human dignity,” and the party examines similar laws in other countries, he noted.
In August, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the draft law against “digital terror” will be brought to the parliament as soon as it resumes its works after Oct. 1.
“This issue is important both for our country and our democracy,” he added, emphasizing that the new law will reinforce national security through measures to fight systematic disinformation targeting the Turkish state.
“Our friends are conducting a technical study for a new law that will protect the personal rights and data of our citizens, that [ensures] the data in Turkey will remain in Turkey and that will stand against discrediting, defamation, lies and slander campaigns in both traditional and new communication channels,” Erdoğan said.