Erdogan called social networks the main threat to democracy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized social networks, calling them a threat to global security and democracy. Human rights activists talk about the lack of free Internet in Turkey itself

Initially seen as symbols of freedom, social networks have become one of the main threats to democracy over time. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated this in a video message to the participants of the information technology conference in Istanbul, Anadolu agency reports.

“Social networks, which were originally called a symbol of freedom, have become one of the main sources of threat to today’s democracy. With the growing interest in social networks, the flow of lies and misinformation is increasing,” Erdogan said.

He also said that social networks pose a threat to the whole world, and not just to individual states. The Turkish President noted that the authorities “are trying to protect citizens, especially vulnerable segments of society, from lies and disinformation, without violating the right to receive accurate and impartial information.”

According to Erdogan, democratic states such as Turkey must remain vigilant “against the backdrop of the growth of manifestations of virtual fascism and the flow of false information.”

According to the human rights organization Freedom House, Turkey scored 34 points in the list of countries with the most not free Internet (the higher the score, the more freedoms on the Internet). In July last year, the country passed a law according to which social networks are required to register in the country and remove content at the request of the authorities within 48 hours.

From June 2020 to May 2021, hundreds of websites were blocked in Turkey. Many opposition figures, such as Omer Faruk Hergerlioglu and Kanan Kaftancioglu, have been jailed for their Twitter posts critical of the official authorities.