Google has refused to comply with a request from the Turkish government to remove a string of Youtube videos that allege corruption.
After Twitter was blocked in Turkey, Youtube may be banned in retaliation as the corruption scandal surrounding Prime Minister Erdogan intensifies.
However reports suggest that this has not happened as of yet, but the precedent will likely worry users of the service, which is currently ranked as the 4th most popular website in the country according to Alexa.
While the nature of the videos and their content are up for speculation, can a government really force a video distributor and ISP to delete videos they don’t like? A DMCA request can make matters difficult for content owners. Many have faced copyright claims that have subsequently led to videos being taken off Youtube, often times, the takedown requests have been illegitimate.
Earlier in the week Russia Today had their entire Youtube account suspended. It caused speculation on whether Google was complying with some form of ‘internet sanctions’ directed at Russia. Of course, the claims were highly unlikely given that their channel had faced technical issues of suspension before, but it shows just how influential the service is in the world, and how networks are becoming more reliant on Youtube.
According to the WSJ, the videos in question appear to feature a voice recording of Prime Minister Erdogan telling his son to “hide money from investigators”. The Prime Minister considers the videos in question a “foreign plot” to overthrow his government. Will he blockade Youtube despite its national popularity?
Thursday 27th March 3pm GMT Turkey has blocked Youtube according to the BBC