Global internet monitor Netblocks reported Wednesday that Turkey has restricted access to Twitter in the aftermath of a series of earthquakes that hit Turkey, Syria and the surrounding region. The powerful earthquakes and their aftershocks have caused 11,000 casualties and widespread destruction.The Twitter restrictions came after Turkish authorities raised concerns about disinformation online without formally providing any explanation. However, Twitter services were restored the following morning. State media reported that Turkish authorities met with the Twitter Head of policy on disinformation and discussed the need for content takedowns. The authorities consequently restored services.The deadly earthquakes started on the 6th of February, and the first one measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. The second earthquake (measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale) and consequent aftershocks that followed adversely impacted internet connectivity in Turkey.Netblocks went on to differentiate this connectivity issue from the restriction, noting the country’s extensive previous history of implementing restrictions during national emergencies in the interests of national security and the prevention of disinformation. However, Netblocks expressed its disagreement with internet filtering and restrictions in general, saying they have a “disproportionate impact on the public’s right to freely access and impart knowledge.”
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