Social media regulation becomes law

The law, which includes regulations on social media, aims to establish an interlocutor relationship with social network providers in order to overcome the difficulties experienced by internet users in their personal applications or notifications to public institutions.

The law introduces a new definition of “social network provider” to the Law on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed Through These Publications.

In this context, real or legal persons who enable users to create, view or share content such as text, image, sound, location for social interaction on the internet will be defined as social network providers.

The administrative fine to be imposed on hosting providers who do not fulfill their obligations will be increased to ensure deterrence. In this context, the administrative fine, which can be imposed from 10 thousand liras to 100 thousand liras, will be increased from 100 thousand liras to 1 million liras.

With the regulation, in cases where it is possible to remove partial content that constitutes a crime, the freedom of expression and freedom of information will be made more secure in terms of non-criminal content on the same website by providing the possibility of issuing a decision to remove the content instead of a decision to block access.

If requested by those whose personal rights are violated due to the content of the publication on the internet, the judge will be able to decide not to associate the name of the applicant with the internet addresses subject to the violation.

Foreign social network providers with more than 1 million daily access from Turkey will designate at least 1 person as a representative in Turkey. The contact information of this person will be included on the website in a way that can be easily seen and directly accessed.

The social network provider will notify the identity and contact information of this person to the ICTA. In case the representative is a real person, it will be mandatory for him/her to be a Turkish citizen.

The ICTA will notify the social network provider that does not fulfill its obligation to determine and notify the representative. If this obligation is not fulfilled within 30 days from the notification, an administrative fine of 10 million liras will be imposed on the social network provider by the President of the ICTA.

If this obligation is not fulfilled within 30 days from the notification of the administrative fine, another administrative fine of 30 million liras will be imposed.

If this obligation is not fulfilled within 30 days from the notification of the administrative fine imposed for the second time, the President of the ICTA will prohibit real and legal persons who are taxpayers resident in Turkey from placing new advertisements to the relevant social network provider. In this context, new contracts cannot be established and money transfers cannot be made.

If this obligation is not fulfilled within 3 months from the date of the advertisement ban decision, the President of the ICTA may apply to the criminal judge of peace to reduce the internet traffic bandwidth of the social network provider by 50 percent.

In the event that the said obligation is not fulfilled within 30 days from the implementation of the judge’s decision on the acceptance of the application, the President of the ICTA may apply to the criminal judge of peace to reduce the internet traffic bandwidth of the social network provider by up to 90 percent.

In the event that the obligation to designate and notify a representative is fulfilled, one-fourth of the administrative fines imposed will be collected, the advertising ban will be lifted and the judge’s decisions will automatically become null and void.

Access providers will be notified by the ICTA to end the interference with internet traffic bandwidth.

The social network provider will be obliged to respond positively or negatively to the applications to be made by individuals regarding the content that will require “removal of the content from the publication and blocking access” and “blocking access to the content due to the privacy of private life” within 48 hours at the latest from the application. Negative answers will be given with justification.

The social network provider will implement the decisions to remove or block access to the content notified to it. In addition, it will notify the ICTA every 6 months with Turkish reports containing statistical and categorical information regarding the applications for “removal of content and blocking access” and “blocking access to content due to the privacy of private life”.

The social network provider will take the necessary measures to host the data of users in Turkey in Turkey.

The President of the ICTA will impose an administrative fine of 5 million liras if the social network provider fails to respond to the application for “removal of content and blocking access” and “blocking access to content due to the privacy of private life” within 48 hours, and an administrative fine of 10 million liras if it fails to implement the decisions to remove content or block access.

Administrative fines to be imposed on social network providers within the scope of “decision to block access and its fulfillment” and “removal of content and / or blocking access in cases where delay is inconvenient” will be 1 million liras, and judicial fines to be imposed within the scope of “decision to block access and its fulfillment” and “removal of content and blocking access” will be 50 thousand days. In each repetition of the violations that require the aforementioned administrative fines within 1 year, the fines will be increased by one fold.

In the event that the content whose illegality is determined by a judge or court decision is notified to the social network provider, the social network provider who does not remove the content or block access within 24 hours despite the notification will be responsible for compensating the damages incurred. In order for this legal responsibility to be exercised, it will not be necessary to go to the responsibility of the content provider or to sue the content provider.

Social network providers will complete the necessary work within 3 months to fulfill their obligations within the scope of responding within 48 hours to the application for “removal of content and blocking access” and “blocking access to content due to privacy”.

Social network providers will also notify the ICTA in June 2021 and publish on its website the first reports they will prepare in accordance with the application for “removal of content and blocking access” and “blocking access to content due to privacy”.

“Port information” will be added to the definition of “traffic information”, which includes the IP address of the parties, the start and end time of the service provided, the type of service utilized, the amount of data transferred and subscriber identification information, if any.

Source: https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/politika/sosyal-medya-duzenlemesi-yasalasti/1925833

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