March 21, 2014 10:13 am -

In a continuation of a disturbing pattern by jittery leaders across the world Turkey is the latest nation to ban Twitter. It’s not known how long this black-out will be in effect but it follows similar actions by leaders in Syria, North Korea and Iran.

Turkey’s courts have blocked access to Twitter days before elections as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan battles a corruption scandal that has seen social media platforms awash with alleged evidence of government wrongdoing. The ban came hours after a defiant Erdogan, on the campaign trail ahead of key March 30 local elections, vowed to “wipe out” Twitter and said he did not care what the international community had to say about it.

Of course those on social media are creative at working around situations like this. Turkish Twitter users are hard at work making sure their message can still be heard.

Turkish Internet users were quick to come up with ways to circumvent the block. The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey quickly moved among the top trending globally. The disruption sparked a virtual uproar, with many comparing Turkey to Iran and North Korea, where social media platforms are tightly controlled. There were also calls to take to the street to protest, although some users equally called for calm.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.