Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again threatened social media users in Turkey, via a video message he sent to the first day of the Stratcom Summit 2021 organised by the Presidential Communications Directorate at the Golden Horn Congress Centre in Istanbul.
He referred to planned arrangements for various social media platforms and remarked that social media was a “threat to democracy”.
“Social media was a symbol of freedom when it first emerged, but it has now become one of the main threats to democracy…At this point, disinformation has gone beyond being a mere national security issue and became a global security issue. In this regard, it is important to inform the public and to fight disinformation and propaganda,” he said on 11 December.
“We are trying to protect our people, especially the vulnerable sectors of our society, against lies and disinformation, without compromising our citizens’ right to receive accurate and impartial information.”
It is not the first time he has referred to tighter measures on social media. Last September he also spoke about preparations for regulations on social media covering “fake news” and “disinformation” online, and said again that uncontrolled social media has become a threat to democracy, social peace and the national security of states.
Details of the new legislation have not been shared with public but it has been expected that a new Social Media Directorate within the government will be established to monitor the online comments of users. Within the upcoming legislation, social media users will be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment for fake news and disinformation.