Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shakes hands with Elon Musk during a meeting in Ankara on November 8, 2017. (credit:
AFP Contributor / Contributor | AFP
This weekend, Twitter
access to some tweets in Turkey at the request of the Turkish government ahead of its next presidential election. Twitter's compliance silenced accounts that had been critical of the Turkish government,
Business Insider reported
. It also prompted a wave of criticism directed at Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who seemingly once again abandoned his free speech principles to comply with the Turkish government order.
Musk defended his decision,
that "the choice is have Twitter throttled in its entirety or limit access to some tweets." Some troubled Twitter users suggested that authoritarian governments could see this response as a signal that Twitter will help them silence opponents any time that they threaten to ban the platform regionally. Others felt that Twitter could have been more transparent about Turkey's request.
An official Twitter account
that all account holders impacted by the takedown request were informed and that those users' tweets would be "available in the rest of the world." Musk also claimed that, for transparency reasons, he would post the takedown notice that Twitter received from Turkey, but that seemingly never happened.