Turkey analyzes Germany’s mannequin for social media regulation

Turkey is analyzing the German model for its social media regulation, which is expected to be presented to parliament by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in October, the daily Hürriyet reported on Monday.

The AK party, which has looked at the models of EU countries like Germany, France and the UK, plans to create a unique model for Turkey.

Ali Özkaya, deputy chairman of the AK party Afyon and deputy chairman of the constitutional commission, told Hürriyet that the regulation of social media does not mean censorship.

According to the news agency, Germany changed its criminal code on terrorism and violence in 2017. The sharing of content that contains terrorism, sexual offenses and pornography or that offends freedom of conscience and religion has been criminalized, as has the spread of disinformation on the Internet.

In Germany, social media platforms have 24 hours to remove illegal content. Failure to do so will result in a fine of up to 50 million euros (58.97 million US dollars, 505.25 million TL). German citizens have the right to file a complaint if they discover that content violates the law. In addition, a “Warn-Remove” complaint system is being implemented.

Özkaya noted that these articles need to be included in Turkey’s social media regulations as well.

People who engage in disinformation could be banned from using social media and fined for a period of time.

Social media users caught spreading disinformation in Germany can face imprisonment from one year to five years, he said, adding that a regulation to protect freedom of expression could be put in place.

In late 2020, new social media regulations came into effect in Turkey, marking the beginning of a new era for the Turkish public through platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

According to the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the new regulations aim to protect citizens’ personal data and have resulted in social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook appointing representatives in the country to identify illegal ones Remove content and block harmful content.

The government stated that the legislation was needed to fight cybercrime and protect users.

The draft law lays down a formal definition of the social media provider and ensures that the platforms appoint a representative responsible for investigations and legal proceedings in connection with criminal offenses on platforms.

Social media providers are defined as real or legal persons who enable users to create, monitor, or share online content that may be in the form of text, visual content, voice recordings, or places for social interaction.

Foreign social network providers with more than 1 million daily visitors to Turkey will send at least one representative in the country. This person’s contact information is included on the website in an obvious and easily accessible manner.

The representative must be a Turkish citizen if he is not a legal person.

The representative has the task of responding to individual requests for the removal of content that violates privacy and personal rights or giving a reason for rejection within 48 hours. The company is liable for damages if the content is not removed or blocked within 24 hours.

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