YouTube announced on December 16, 2020, that it will appoint a local representative in Turkey to comply with the country’s recently amended internet law, making it much more susceptible to content removal and take-down requests by the Turkish authorities, ARTICLE 19, Human Rights Watch, and İFÖD said today. Such a move will inevitably lead to an increase in arbitrary censorship, compromise people’s privacy and right of access to information, and could implicate YouTube in human rights violations.
The decision also sets a dangerous precedent that makes it harder for other tech companies to refuse to appoint a local representative in Turkey, and more difficult for YouTube and other companies to refuse to appoint local representatives in countries around the world with weak rule of law frameworks and equally problematic legislation that may require it. Rather than cooperate with this form of state interference with freedom of expression, YouTube should be a partner in efforts to challenge the law and champion the right to free speech.
Link: Turkey: YouTube Precedent Threatens Free Expression