Bye Bye Twitter

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?

 

Sources:

UN

The Guardian

Image:

Google

2 comments

  1. I do not think that Turkey can ban the use of Twitter because the freedom of expression extends to online sources. This is because online sources are essentially print sources and deserve the same protections. For example, these days, many newspapers are conducted solely online with the same protections as if it were actually in print. The same should remain true for social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. Twitter and Facebook are avenues in which people can write opinion on hot topics, share breaking news stories, or just express how their day is going. This conduct portrays the exact meaning of expression. If Turkey were to ban Twitter, what is next on its chopping block? Online newspapers, print newspapers, books? Where will the ban stop? Twitter and other social media should be protected as much as any other place where ideas and expression are exchanged. The citizens of Turkey should be afforded the right of freedom of expression no matter what network they use.

  2. I am very against banning any type of self-expression. While most U.S citizens here use their twitter accounts to follow celebrities or post tweets about going to the gym, myself included, it does not diminish the importance of what social media accounts like twitter can provide. Twitter allows a person to gain the quickest access to updates of any topic ranging from economics to politics to arts and sciences. This free and immediate access to news from all over the world allows people to keep themselves up to date and educated on what is going on in their country and others. This education that is obtained then allows them to form an opinion on what may be wrong or right with a certain occurrence in a certain state. Turkey’s move to ban twitter does not merely ban self-expression but more importantly bans access to knowledge and when a country wants to do something like this to its citizens there is usually something suspicious behind it.

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