138% surge in Turks’ tweets after Twitter ban

138% surge in Turks’ tweets after Twitter ban
Sat Mar 22, 2014 09:34:33

A ban on Twitter imposed by the Turkish government has been followed with a 138% surge in the number of tweets in a single day.

Turkey blocked Twitter on Thursday night, hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to "wipe out" the social media site.

The prime minister has been under pressure over leaked audio recordings, shared widely via social media, which allege corruption within his inner circle.

Earlier this month, he threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube.

As news of the blocking broke, hashtags #TwitterisBlockedinTurkey and #TurkeyBlockedTwitter both began trending worldwide.

People are getting around the ban by using an alternate DNS service. They're also tweeting through anonymous VPNs, while Twitter is still accessible via the site’s SMS service, which allows Turks to text in a tweet.

President Abdullah Gul, a political ally of Erdogan’s, was among those who circumvented the order, which he contested in a series of tweets. “I hope this implementation won’t last long,” he wrote. Many — although not all — users trying to access the network early on Friday instead saw a notice from Turkey’s telecommunications authority, citing four court orders.

From across the world last night, thousands of Twitter users dispatched outraged — and sometimes hilarious — updates and photos touching upon feelings of dismay, humor, and resignation.

Numerous memes began to circulate, many of them depicting Erdogan as anti-democratic.

Links to the leaked recordings that is said to be the main reason for the ban have been popping up on Turkish Twitter accounts, including one in which a voice resembling Erdogan's instructs his son to dispose of large amounts of cash from a residence amid a police graft investigation.

Erdogan, who denies corruption, said the recording was fabricated and part of plot by followers of an influential cleric to discredit the government ahead of the March 30 elections.

SHI/SHI

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