Expressing your views about specific topics has become an easier task then in the olden days of waiting for a newspaper printout. The creation of the Internet and social media assists in the rapid spread of social and political ideas and allows individuals to assure that their voices will be heard all over the world.
Freedom of expression has been a right fought for since the early 1920’s, when Justice Oliver Holmes addressed the US Supreme Court on the issue that freedom of speech and expression concentrates not only on expression that is socially agreed upon but also on speech that is less favored within the community.
Social media devices such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, provide avenues for individuals to express themselves, whether it comes to placing a video on Youtube, or an opinionated status on Facebook. Unfortunately some countries find that the right to freedom of expression should be restricted and regulated, finding that this right comes with dangers as well as benefits. The government of Turkey has now decided to block the ability to access Twitter from their citizens, finding that this social media site could cause future dangers.
The United Nations Officer of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has begun to express worry that by banning this site, Turkey would be violating the rights of its citizens. The concern revolves around the fact that this decision has made it quite easy to restrict the people of Turkey’s right to freedom of expression without even seeking a court order and expressing the essential need for this ban to be accepted. A notion that has been pointed out by representatives of the OHCHR is that the rights of an individual should not be altered due to the fact that an expression is conducted online rather than offline. Encouragement has commenced originating from U.N. officials finding that it is crucial for the Turkish government to reconsider their actions in accordance with international human rights standards.
Do you think Turkey should be able to ban social media sites such as Twitter? If Turkey feels that it is an appropriate step to block access to one type of social media, what will stop them from banning entry into other similar devices?