Google Report Reveals Turkish Government’s Biggest Fears

BIANET 7.12.2012 – Turkey is topping the list in the number content ban requests among OECD countries, with most complaint made on state criticism and porn.

Every six months Google releases reports concerning content ban requests from national governments. Yesterday I came across the latest report for 2012. Turkish web users would not be surprised to see that Turkey made the most ban requests in the world, I guess. Though, it is still tragic to see Turkey only topping the list among OECD countries when it comes to “content ban requests” and not when it comes to criteria such as education, health, employment, etc. But hold on. There is more.

Google divided all ban requests into categories like “slander”, “hate crime”, “violence”, “national security” and “state criticism”. I think you can see where I am heading. I checked why countries made their ban requests. And obviously, Turkey topped the list for “state criticism”!

The worse is that when we look at other countries, “state criticism” requests are hardly the top priority. The complaint hardly finds its itself in country lists such as UK (#7), France (#10), Germany (#9), Spain (#7), US (#7) and India (#6).

This made me curious about what ban requests were made by other countries. It’s not appropriate to make any of ban requests anyway but it is an interesting way to see what preoccupies governments all over the world.

Here are the results:

* US: “Slander”, “Privacy and Security”

* Argentina: “Slander”, “Privacy and Security”

* Canada: “Slander”, “Privacy and Security”

* Germany: “Slander”, “Hate Speech”

* Italy: “Slander”, “Copyrights”

* Japan: “Slander”, “Privacy and Security”

* France: “Privacy and Security”, “Slander”,

* UK: “National Security”, “Privacy and Security”

* Australia: “Privacy and Security”, “Copyrights”

*  Russia: “National Security”, “Slander”

* Spain: “Privacy and Security”, “Slander”

* Holland: “Slander”, “Privacy and Security”

* Brazil: “Copyrights”, “Slander”

* Hong Kong: “Copyrights”

* India: “Privacy and Security”, “Slander”

* South Korea: “Privacy and Security”, “Slander”

What about Turkey? Here’s Turkey’s most frequent ban requests:

* Turkey: “Pornographic Content”, “State criticism”

If you feel alone, let me relieve you: The only other country with “state criticism” as one of its most frequent ban requests is Thailand, where the oppressing regime took more than 30,000 lives of human rights activists since 1947. I can hear some of you say, “AKP government can’t accept criticism, this is why we are here”, but it’s not the only thing unfortunately. The real point is about how we left the authority keep an eye on us for so long. We couldn’t criticize the military a couple of years ago. Even now, there is an “Ataturk taboo” protected by grotesque laws. The real issue is about the authority per se that becomes more oppressive with time. AKP is temporary in that sense. When government officials accuse the jailed journalists for being guilty, we say, “they are terrorists anyways”. I recommend all of you to rethink about why we need journalists who interrogate government policies and become the voices of the unheard. Check out the map again. The big circle belongs to a country that claims to be a “super force” and a genuine democracy in its region. It is indeed an unsatisfied child obsessed with porn and who sends letters to Internet providers to ban all content questioning his childish authority. (AME/HK)