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Twitter challenges Turkish fine over 'terrorist propaganda'

Twitter challenges Turkish fine over 'terrorist propaganda'


Company reportedly files lawsuit over $50,000 fine

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Twitter has filed a lawsuit in Turkey challenging a $50,000 fine handed down last month over what the government called "terrorist propaganda," according to a report from Reuters. Citing a source close to the matter, Reuters reports that the lawsuit was filed today in an Ankara court, and that it seeks to annul the fine. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment when reached by The Verge.

Turkey's telecommunications regulator issued the fine in December, after Twitter failed to remove the offending content. Turkish officials did not provide details on the content, describing it only as "terrorist propaganda" that encouraged "public acts of violence and hatred." After the social media site failed to pay the fine by a deadline set for this week, transport minister Binali Yildrim said the government will take "necessary" measures to make sure it adheres.

Turkey filed 718 removal requests in the first half of 2015

This is the first time that Twitter has faced a fine in Turkey, though the government has blocked it and other social media sites on several previous occasions. Turkey has also sought to remove content from Twitter far more frequently than any other country. Through the first six months of 2015, Turkey filed 718 removal requests with the company, through government or court orders, according to Twitter's most recent transparency report. Twitter received a total of 1,103 such requests over the same period.

In March 2014, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to "wipe out" Twitter after users posted audio recordings that purported to expose government corruption. Erdoğan was elected president in August 2014.