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Turkish Parliament to host Facebook rep for social media overview

Turkish Parliament on Wednesday is expected to listen to Facebook representatives outline problems on social media and possible solutions, in a briefing that officials from other social media platforms will also attend.

Transport and Infrastructure Deputy Minister Ömer Fatih Sayan said: “As Turkey, we will continue to enact new regulations on social media. Currently, new work is underway at Parliament.”

Head of Parliament’s digital channels commission, Hüseyin Yayman, in October said that the perspectives of social media platform representatives would be taken into consideration after the issue of data security arose on the agenda following disruptions on social media platforms. Within this scope, the Facebook official will share their views on Turkey’s social media regulations and listen to Parliament’s demands.

“The lack of representatives of social networks in Turkey, in which our country’s people show interest far above the world average and where only one platform has 40 million users from our country, was a major shortcoming,” Sayan said and added that now Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, V Kontakte (VK), YouTube and Dailymotion have appointed Turkey representatives.

“We wanted the complaint and solution processes that are conveyed to these platforms by the citizens of other countries, also be valid for our citizens. In fact, when it came to this stage, a struggle was fought against the double standardist attitudes of these companies. Unfortunately, the double standardist attitude toward human rights in the world was reflected in this field as well,” he added.

New social media regulations in Turkey went into force in late 2020, marking the start of a new era for Turkish users of platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

According to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the new regulations have been designed to protect citizens’ personal data and necessitate that social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, appoint representatives in the country to remove unlawful content and block harmful posts.

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

The bill sets a formal definition for a social media provider and ensures the platforms designate a responsible representative for investigations and legal proceedings relating to offenses on platforms.

Social media providers are defined as real or legal entities that allow users to create, monitor or share online content that can be in the form of text, visual content, voice recordings or locations, for social interaction.

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