Two anonymous Twitter accounts blocked in Turkey

Accounts linked to the spread of government corruption allegations appeared blocked less than a week after the social network agreed to shutter some accounts.

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How one of the blocked accounts appears to Twitter users in Turkey.Perviz Hacıyev/Twitter

A pair of anonymous Twitter accounts linked to the spread of government corruption allegations in Turkey appeared to be blocked on the Turkish network on Sunday.

The move comes a little less than a week after the microblogging network agreed to a Turkish government request to close some accounts accused of violating national security or privacy laws.

The two accounts blocked on Sunday -- @Haramzadeler333 and @Bascalan -- were reportedly used to leak audio recordings onto the network of alleged conversations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son, Bilal, in which the two men allegedly discuss in detail how to hide vast amounts of money. The accounts, both with more than 400,000 followers, are reportedly listed as "withheld" within the country but appeared normally for overseas users.

Twitter declined to discuss the specific accounts but said in a tweet on its policy feed that it withholds content only after "due process, e.g., a court order." In another tweet, the social network said it doesn't act "at the mere request of a gov't official" and might appeal court orders that threaten freedom of expression.

Twitter also said it has not revealed user information without due process.

"Twitter has not provided and will not provide user information to Turkish authorities without valid legal process," it said in another tweet.

The social network was blocked briefly last month when Erdogan threatened to "wipe out Twitter" after allegations of corruption spread across social networks. The blockade was lifted two weeks later after a ruling by Turkey's constitutional court that found the ban to be a violation of free speech and individual rights.

A week after Twitter was blocked, Turkey banned YouTube after an audio recording reportedly surfaced on the video sharing site in which top government and military officials purportedly discussed the security situation in Syria. A Turkish court later ordered that the YouTube ban be lifted.

Erdogan, Turkey's leader since 2003, has denounced the recordings as fake and vowed legal action against the "vile attack."

 

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