ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Social media companies are unlikely to fully abide by Turkey’s new law requiring them to remove “disinformation” content and share user data with authorities, analysts say, raising the specter of possible platform disruptions before elections next year.
Facebook, Twitter, Google and others are required to fully comply with the law by next April or face possible advertising bans and eventually cuts to their bandwidth, posing a dilemma for the companies before elections set for June.
Analysts and consultants said the companies have global privacy standards they are unlikely to breach in Turkey as that could set precedents for other countries looking to exert control on social platforms.
“Some of these companies are not likely to comply with the law,” said Sinan Ulgen, founding partner at Istanbul Economics, which consults on regulatory and legal affairs.
Under the law, which took effect this week, companies must share with authorities users’ information if they post content constituting crimes, including misleading information.
Social media companies are required to appoint Turkish representatives. They face bandwidth being throttled by up to 90% immediately after a court order should the representative fail to provide information to authorities.
The AKP and nationalist allies backed the law.
Social media companies have so far been able to comply with the 2020 law by setting up small corporate entities in Turkey that they could easily pull out if pressured, said Yaman Akdeniz, cyber rights expert and professor at Istanbul Bilgi University.