The International Press Institute (IPI) today expressed concern over the most recent discussions on a new bill that would criminalize the spreading of “fake news”. Initial details about the bill raise serious alarm about a further step forward in Turkey’s efforts to control media and information online.

On August 18, 2021, Hüseyin Yayman, an MP for Turkey’s governing AKP party and the chair of the Digital Platforms Commission of the parliament, said in a press conference that social media platforms with the capacity of 64 million users in Turkey have significant impact on social life and pose a danger to governments and democracies with their constant reproduction of “fake news”, disinformation and hate speech.

“On the one hand, we were dealing with the recent wildfires, floods, and earthquakes, on the other hand, we are dealing with a bigger calamity that is social media”, Yayman said. Stating that there is a need for new social media regulation to avert “fake news”, Yayman claimed that the draft bill the government is working on will not be about bans, censorship, or penalties.

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