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October 16, 2019
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World

Facebook agrees to block blasphemous caricatures in Turkey

WASHINGTON: Facebook has agreed to censor images of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Turkey — including the very type of image that precipitated the Charlie Hebdo attack in wake of the country’s court order, the  Washington Post reported.

Now, per the BBC, Facebook has blocked an unspecified number of pages that “offended the Prophet Muhammad” after receiving a court order from a local court in Ankara.

A person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to the Post that Facebook had acted to “block content so that it’s no longer visible in Turkey following a valid legal request.”

In the past as well, social media companies that failed to comply with such requests — including Twitter and YouTube — have been blocked in the country, entirely.

 

On Sunday, a Turkish court had ordered Facebook to block a number of pages deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), threatening to stop access to the whole social networking site if it does not comply. The country is believed to have 40 million members on Facebook.

Turkey is, in fact, one of Facebook’s more vexing territories, at least where censorship is concerned. The country represents a huge potential audience for U.S. tech companies, with its growing population of young digital natives and its rapidly transforming economy.