Twitter co-founder says Turkey, India, Nigeria threatened to shut down platform: report


Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who resigned as CEO in 2021, said the social media platform was threatened with being shut down in Turkey, India and Nigeria unless it complied with orders to restrict accounts, Reuters reported on Tuesday. 

“Turkey is very similar [to India], like we had so many requests from Turkey. We fought Turkey in their courts and often won, but they threatened to shut us down constantly,” he said in an interview with YouTube news show Breaking Points.

Twitter was purchased by Elon Musk in 2022.

In May, Twitter Global Government Affairs publicly released Turkish court orders to justify a restriction of some accounts due to legal pressure from the Turkish government during the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The platform was also blocked for at least 12 hours on major Turkish mobile providers in an outage, following a flurry of online criticism of the government’s response to deadly earthquakes in early February.

The Turkish government has for years been tightening its grip on social media. In July 2020 parliament approved sweeping changes to social media regulations, introducing fines, restricted bandwidth and possible bans for social media firms that break the law and giving the government sweeping new powers to regulate content.

Turkey was the third country, after Japan and Russia, that most frequently requested the removal of content from Twitter in the first half of 2021, according to the company’s Transparency Report for the first six months of the year.

As much as 95 percent of the total global volume of legal demands originated from only five countries — Japan, Russia, Turkey, India and South Korea — the report said.

Turkey was ranked “not free” by Freedom House in its Freedom in the World 2023 index. Turkey is rated “not free” with a score of 32/100, in the same category as Russia, China and Iran, according to the annual country-by-country assessment of political rights and civil liberties.

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