Twitter 'censors' Kurdish businessman, journalist

Occurred: May 2023

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Kurdish businessman Muhammed Yakut and Turkish investigative journalist Twitter Cevheri Güven have had their Twitter accounts restricted one day ahead of Turkey's presidential election, resulting in civil rights groups, journalists and others accusing Twitter of censorship and unduly bowing to political pressure.

The move had been described by Twitter's Global Government Affairs team as a 'response to legal process'. Turkey has been at loggerheads with its Kurdish minority for years; Yakut had previously been highly critical of the Turkish government and had threatened a major expose concerning Turkey's 2016 failed coup.

Twitter also came under fire for poor transparency in failing to disclose the names of the people it was restricting, whilst Twitter owner Elon Musk was derided as hypocritical and cowardly.

Turkey's presidential election have also been plagued by a series of deepfake videos intended to discredit Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's political opponents Kemal Kilicdaroglu and Muharrem Ince.

Operator: X Corp/Twitter
Developer: X Corp/Twitter
Country: Turkey
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Recommend content
Technology: Recommendation algorithm
Issue: Freedom of expression - censorship
Transparency: Black box