social media

Turkish parliament ratifies new law on social media

The new law passed in Turkey obliges social media platforms to assign a representative and remove offensive content, or face heavy fines.

The Turkish Parliament ratified early this Wednesday with the votes in favor of the AKP party of President Erdoğan and his nationalist allies of the MHP, the new law that will regulate the use of social media in Turkey, and which has been criticised by the main opposition party.

The new regulation establishes a formal definition for social media providers (that is, platforms that allow users to create, view or share content online), who must designate a person responsible for the investigations and legal procedures that are initiated in relation to hate crimes and offences made through these platforms.

Those overseas-based social media providers that have more than a million daily visits in Turkey will need to assign at least one representative for the country; the contact details of that person must be included on the website of the platform, clearly and visibly so that they are accessible to all users.

That representative can be a legal person or a natural person, and if this is the case he/she must be a Turkish citizen. Once a complaint has been filed for the publication or dissemination of offensive content, social media providers -who must also store data about their users in Turkey within the country- will have 48 hours to delete the content.

Legislation passed today in the Turkish parliament states that, in the event that social media providers do not comply with their obligations, they would face fines whose amount increases considerably: if before they could range between 10,000 and 100,000 Turkish liras (from 1,200 to 12,000 euros), the new law increases them a hundredfold and now they will range from a minimum of one million to a maximum of 10 million liras (from 120,000 to 1,200,000 euros).