Twitter access restored in Turkey

Twitter access restored in Turkey
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Turkish authorities held a meeting with Twitter to 'remind Twitter of its obligations" regarding the removal of content and disinformation, NetBlocks said

Access to Twitter has been restored in Turkey, Internet monitoring company Netblocks said.

"The restoration comes after authorities held a meeting with Twitter to remind Twitter of its obligations on content takedowns and disinformation," the company tweeted.

Earlier on Wednesday, NetBlocks said it was filtering traffic at the internet service provider level that prevented Twitter users from reaching the social media site, two days after a massive earthquake claimed thousands of lives in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

The report came after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned social media users against disinformation. Turkish police said they had arrested five people and taken 18 into custody after they shared "provocative posts"

Social media users had previously sharply criticized the bans.

"While all rescue workers are using Twitter to communicate, it's a good idea to shut down Twitter to silence dissenters. Good for you," Turkish journalist Fatih Altayli wrote on his Twitter account Wednesday.

Turkish actor and comedian Cem Yilmaz tweeted, "Is there any explanation for restricting Twitter when it can be useful to save lives? While many benefits are obvious for 3 days. At a time like this? I give up."

Some Twitter users asked Twitter CEO Elon Musk for help and tagged his Twitter handle to alert him to the problem. Musk later tweeted, "Twitter has been informed by the Turkish government that access will be restored shortly."

"Twitter has been informed by the Turkish government that access will be reopened shortly," Musk tweeted, without providing further details on the timeline.

Since the earthquake, people in Turkey have been posting information on Twitter about relatives they can't reach, reports of collapsed buildings in the region and coordinating relief efforts.