On Friday, Turkey’s prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, confirmed a new law in which the state banned the use of Twitter among the population. This is far from the first time something like this has happened, and many countries have at certain points suffered either a blockage or partial censorship of the social network.
Countries with complete Twitter blockages
- China: The Chinese government has absolute control over the country’s Internet service providers, and has its own search engines and fully supervised social networks. Nevertheless, China is ironically the country with the most Twitter users (more than 35 million), who use proxy systems to bypass the regional blockage.
- Turkey: From March 20, 2014, the Turkish government has decided to completely block Twitter in the country for being supposedly damaging to the country’s stability. Recently, thanks to the impact of the social network, an important corruption scandal has come to light involving the prime minister’s family and other important public officials.
Countries that have suffered some type of blockage or temporary censorship
- Egypt: During the iconic Egyptian revolution of 2011 that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s government, Twitter was blocked from the end of January of that year for several days, which was followed by a complete Internet blockage for two days by the country’s largest ISP. At the beginning of February the service again went live.
- France: At the end of 2012, Twitter agreed to remove hundreds of racist messages from its network after a complaint from the Union of Jewish Students of France.
- India: The confrontations under the Assad regime during 2012 provoked the censorship of Twitter accounts as well as up to 300 informative URLs.
- Iran: During the presidential elections of 2009, Twitter was blocked for several days for promoting protests against the president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- South Korea: There is an ISP filter in the country to block access to information related to its northern neighbor. When North Korea created its official Twitter account, this was also blocked.
- Venezuela: February of this year saw street protests against the government of president Nicolas Maduro. Twitter confirmed that the country had blocked imaged uploaded to the social network.