The Washington Post reports today that Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has banned Twitter in his country.
Yeah. Good luck with that.
The rationale behind his obtaining a court order to block Twitter access in his country seems to be that unfettered communication within his country, as well as with the outside world, has made it easy for everyone to see the blatant corruption within his own government. So, like many good despots before him, he shot the messenger.
The problem is, the Twitter bird is an elusive prey. Even though young Turks can not log in to Twitter, per se, the Twitter SMS service is still available to them, which allows them to text out a Tweet. The Twitter overlords themselves made sure that bit of knowledge was out there.
Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.
— Policy (@policy) March 20, 2014
The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey has been ablaze. If the point of the action was to hide the activity of Turkey from the rest of the world, it seems to have gone over about as well as Barbra Streisand's old stunt. Streisand tried to keep photos of her Malibu mansion off the Internet. In attempting to do so, she attracted loads more attention than she otherwise would have had.
— Anis (@TheBlogPirate) March 21, 2014
Time Magazine reports that Erdogan has called social media “the worst menace to society". And regarding Twitter itself, he declared, "We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
What kind of doofus blocks Twitter? Doesn't he know what kind of trouble he's in? #twitterisblockedinturkey
— Justin Wise (@JustinWise) March 21, 2014
Turkey will be holding elections on March 30, whereby the fate of Erdogan and his ilk will be determined. We will see if this ends up being the moment where he jumped the shark.
— Burak Uysal (@burak_uysal) March 21, 2014
Image via Twitter