Last Thursday, in a pitiful attempt to halt the spread of widespread corruption allegations against his regime, the Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan declared war on social media while banning Twitter.
Turkey tried to block Twitter hours after Erdogan threatened to close it down ahead of a key election that is being held on March 30. "We have a court order. We will wipe out Twitter," Erdogan said during an election rally last Thursday in the northwestern city of Bursa. "I don't care what the international community says. They will see the Turkish republic's strength," he added.
The ban comes after widespread sharing of voice recordings and documents on Twitter that point towards massive corruption throughout the Erdogan administration. With elections coming up on March 30, Erdogan is worried that more recordings will surface so he got his courts and Turkey's Telecommunications Authority to block access to Twitter.
Unfortunately for Erdogan, the number of tweets surged in the hours after the ban took effect. According to Zete.com, nearly 2.5m tweets - 17,000 tweets a minute - have been sent out from Turkey since the ban came into effect. The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey rose to become the top trending term globally.
Twitter posted instructions on how users could change the Domain Name Settings on their PCs and mobile devices to disguise the fact they were in Turkey. Turkish tweeters were also quick to share use of VPNs to connect to the web undetected. Guess it's time for Erdogan to call Barbra Streisand.