Turkey’s ruling AKP to submit social media regulation bill to parliament

The draft bill for Turkey’s new social media regulation, which has been heavily criticised for posing a threat to create a censorship mechanism, is almost ready to submit to the parliament, NTV reported on Friday. 

The draft text prepared by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) consists of 60 articles and three parts and was presented to top party officials at a Central Executive Board meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it said.

Erdoğan’s AKP has been working on a draft bill since last year, focusing on punishing the spread of “false information” content on social media, by fines and up to five years in prison.

Turks who are found guilty of lying on social media could face jail sentence according to the draft regulation, in which the definition of fake news is also made.

The  regulation will effectively ensure that representatives of social media companies are “real” people, NTV said. According to the current law, representatives of social media companies are treated as legal entities.

The law will also regulate online journalism, it said.

AKP and its junior coalition partner, far-right Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) senior officials will discuss the draft next Tuesday, NTV said.

In December, Erdoğan said social media is one of the main threats to democracy, as he vowed to continue protecting citizens from “lies and disinformation.’’ Disinformation has gone beyond being a national security issue, becoming a global security problem, Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan’s government for years has been tightening its grip on the internet.

In July 2020, the parliament approved sweeping changes to social media regulations, introducing fines, restricted bandwidth and possible bans for social media firms who break the law and giving the government sweeping new powers to regulate content.

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.