Sunday April 30, 2017

Turkey Drops the Ban Hammer on Wikipedia

Early Saturday morning, Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority implemented an order under Law No. 5651, effectively banning all access to Wikipedia from within the countries borders. In case you were wondering, Law No. 5651 gives the Turkish government complete control over the country's internet and is seen by many to be an assault on the Turkish people's right to information. Officials state that the ban was implemented to prevent Turkish users from viewing content that promotes "terror propaganda". The articles in question make the accusation that Ankara has collaborated with jihadists in Syria to undermine Kurdish opposition. Some are speculating that the ban is really due to disparaging updates to Turkish President Erdogan's Wikipedia profile after a referendum was passed this month which greatly expanded the powers of his office.

This isn't the first time Turkey has gone dark. In the last several years Turkey has blocked access to popular websites like Youtube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. If any content is shown that is potentially damaging to the countries leadership, a ban usually follows.

Wikipedia's Founder took to Twitter to express his concern:

"Access to information is a fundamental human right. Turkish people, I will always stand with you to fight for this right."

Consider this for a moment. In America, there is an overwhelming amount of information. So much news, that there are websites to determine if the articles from other websites are fake or not. Then we have websites to tell us whether the websites that tell us if articles are fake are fake. An interesting contrast indeed.

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