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Turkey blocks Reddit through its internet censorship law

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 14, 2015
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The Turkish government's eagerness to censor the internet isn't letting up any time soon. The country's officials have blocked Reddit under the guise of Internet Law 5651, which lets Turkey ban sites it suspects of hosting 'scandalous' content like piracy, porn or criticism of first President Mustafa Ataturk. It's relatively easy to circumvent the block (you just have to switch your DNS settings), but there's no hint that the government is about to have a change of heart.

It's not clear what prompted the sudden crackdown. Reddit certainly doesn't have a reputation for family-friendly content, but 5651 has been in effect since 2007 -- there were plenty of opportunities to take action if piracy and porn were the real issues. President Erdogan's administration (which likes to demonize social networks that question its leadership) may be flexing its muscles in the wake of its recent election victory, or might have just realized that Reddit is a haven for political critics. Either way, it's evident that online free speech just took a blow in the region.

Update: Well... that was short-lived. Reddit is once again accessible in Turkey, no workarounds required. For now, anyway.

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