The Turkish government will continue to move forward with its plans to manually censor and pixelate tweets which advertise “malicious content”, according to an announcement by the country’s Communications Minister Lufti Elvan released earlier today.
“We have reached a consensus to ‘neutralize’ malicious content that is the object of court decisions by pixelating. [Twitter executives] also said the presence of a lawyer representing them would contribute to solving the current issues,” Elvan said in the statement.
“During the meeting, the opening of a liaison office in Turkey to ensure closer coordination, as well as the conferring of authority for ‘super tagging’ to Turkey’s telecommunication directorate [TİB] was discussed. But Twitter executives said they would not immediately decide on these issues and could reconvene after assessing it in a meeting at their headquarters.”
This statements leads us to believe that although Twitter has done their best to play along with Turkey’s increasingly wacky demands regarding the freedom of information shared on their site up until this point, the company is hesitant to give away too much power over what can and can’t be said before negotiations between the government and the microblogging service conclude.
There has also been speculation that Twitter may have been planning a new office opening in the region, but since becoming the center of attention in the country’s war on free speech, has reconsidered their position and may eventually wind up scrapping the plan altogether if a more common consensus can’t be reached within the next several months.
So far, Twitter has assured government officials that just over 200 pieces of “malicious content” had been censored so far, following the five court orders which were handed down on April 2 as part of their agreement to re-allow access to the site after the state-wide censorship effort was met with massive protests and publicized workarounds late last month.