Turkish police investigated 106,000 social media accounts in 2021

A total of 106,000 social media accounts in Turkey were investigated in 2021 due to posts found problematic by the authorities, Turkish Minute reported, citing the Security Directorate General.

According to the directorate, which released its activity report for 2021 on Tuesday, the 106,000 social media users were investigated by online police teams on allegations of insulting the president, spreading terrorist propaganda or inciting enmity and hatred among the people.

The report showed that the users of 46,646 of the social media accounts were identified.

It is common in Turkey for social media users to face investigations or even be jailed due to their posts, particularly if they include criticism of the government or its policies.

Social media platforms such as Twitter provide a relatively freer venue for people in Turkey to express their views. These platforms have taken on much more importance in recent years as news sources because the majority of conventional media outlets are under the control of the government.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), 85 percent of the national media in Turkey is owned by pro-government businessmen who toe the official line.

There has been a growing national and international outcry over perceived crackdowns on freedom of speech by the Turkish government, which is accused by many of undermining media freedom by arresting journalists and shutting down critical media outlets, especially since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan survived a coup attempt in July 2016.

Reporters Without Borders ranked Turkey at 153 out of 180 countries in its 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

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