Turkey is proposing a $ 1.2 million fine on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok for new law

Turkey on Wednesday fined Facebook, Twitter and three other social media companies for failing to appoint a country representative under a controversial law that went into effect last month.

Legislation passed in July requires platforms with more than one million users to appoint agents in Turkey who can implement court orders to remove controversial content or large fines.

Turkey has ordered Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and TikTok to pay 10 million TRY (about 9 million rupees) fines for non-compliance, Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Omer Fatih Sayan tweeted.

If the networks do not open local offices by early December, they will be fined an additional 30 million liras.

Failure to comply by early January would result in an advertising ban.

Should the social media companies still ignore Turkish law three months after the advertising ban, they will notice a bandwidth reduction of 50 percent and then of up to 90 percent in the fifth and final phase.

Digital rights expert Yaman Akdeniz said any bandwidth reductions would begin in April and reach 90 percent by May, effectively making the platforms inaccessible.

Akdeniz tweeted on Tuesday, only the private Russian social media company VK had appointed a Turkish representative.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is one of the most popular leaders on social media, with nearly 17 million followers and a very active presence.

However, under his administration, Turks have been increasingly prosecuted for their social media posts, particularly those accused of offending the president.

Erdogan does not hide his disdain for social media, which he threatened to “wipe out” in 2014.

The new law was passed after Erdogan’s anger over online slurs by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and his wife Esra, the president’s daughter, after the birth of their fourth child in June.

Turks are used to having limited access to websites and content. Turkish courts have sent hundreds of content removal requests to Twitter over the past few years.

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