Authorities in Turkey have tightened their internet censorship practices further with a renewed effort to clamp down on popular social media sites in the country. Fresh reports indicate that the government has been restricting individuals from accessing the likes of Facebook and other social media platforms in the country.
It is not clear why the government should instruct ISPs in the country to restrict access to favourite social networking sites, but there appear to be indications that the recent move is linked to the recent murder of the Russian Ambassador.
The Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead on Monday evening in what many believe to be a reaction to the Russian military involvement in Aleppo, Syria.
But according to Turkey Blocks, which monitors recent internet censorship developments in Turkey in real time, the blockade on social media platforms started before the assassination.
Alp Toker, the founder of the organisation, says that it appears that TTNet, one of the most common ISPs in Turkey, started implementing blockades on all social media platforms earlier on Monday. The blockades affected all the main social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
For more than 12 hours on Monday, individuals in Turkey could not access these sites. However, some ISPs seem to have been reluctant in implementing the new regulations. For example, it has been reported that some individuals who use different ISPs managed to access Facebook during the time when TTNet users experienced blockades.
Series of Censorship moves
The Turkish government has been intent on blocking internet access in the country in the recent past. A few weeks ago, the government issued instructions to all ISPs in the country to block the Tor Browser, a popular secure browser that people use to communicate anonymously.
Up to now, reports indicate that people in Turkey can no longer use The Tor Browser to access the Internet and communicate anonymously.
Moreover, there are appears to be a pattern in the manner in which the government imposes restrictions on internet censorship. It has been common for the authorities to issue new censorship instructions at times of heightened political activity.
However, it is hard to trace the recent ban on The Tor Browser to any political situation. Similarly, observers are concerned that although social media networks are back in operation in the country, the situation remains precarious.