Facebook has finally agreed to block a specific page the Turkish authorities claimed was deeply offensive to the Prophet Muhammad.
Initially the social media giant – which has over 40 million accounts registered in Turkey – had refused, but in light of continued threats by the Turkish government to totally block the site in their country, they were really left with very little choice on the matter.
Facebook does make publicly available records of all the government requests to block and censor content on the site, in the knowledge that transparency is key, and that government-censorship on the level of dictatorships such as North Korea or China would not be tolerated in the more liberal and information sharing Western world.
In just six months from January to June 2014, the Turkish government made 1,893 content restrictions on Facebook. They also blocked YouTube and Twitter during this time, and this was even before the mass outrage and debate sparked by the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Indeed, following the tragic events in Paris, Amnesty International has revealed that one of Turkey’s leading newspapers, Cumhuriyet, is facing a criminal investigation in the country after publishing some of the pictures shown in the French satirical magazine after its editorial staff were massacred for drawing sketches of the Prophet.