Turkey’s New Disinformation Law
- Turkey’s parliament adopted the much-critiqued ‘disinformation law’ that accords jail terms of up to three years to social media users and journalists for spreading ‘disinformation’.
About the law:
- The “disinformation law” is a collection of roughly 40 articles that would change about 23 separate statutes collectively.
- Article 29 is the most divisive of the 40.
- In order to instill fear or terror among the citizenry, it is illegal to publicly broadcast false information concerning the nation’s internal and foreign security, public order, and general well-being.
- The Turkish government has maintained that the bill will address situations in which persons of different political ideologies, religious beliefs, or ethnicities are slandered and defamed by anonymous online accounts.
- A jail term between one and three years has been introduced for any violation with the extension of an additional half of the initially stipulated term if the actions are done in anonymity. social media platforms could now be asked to hand over user data to Turkish courts to implement this law.
Apprehensions Surrounding the law:
- Critics, including the Venice Commission, which advises the Council of Europe on constitutional issues, have criticised the vague definition of some key terms, including “disinformation.”
- The law gives prosecutors the authority to make that determination.
- Critics claim that Turkey’s history of judicial persecution of journalists and other social scientists and the country’s intense polarisation do not paint a positive picture.
- Now that news websites are recognised by the law as being a component of mainstream media, they are subject to the same rules as newspapers.
- This includes removing reports that have been reported to regulatory authorities and posting a denial on the same hyperlink.
- Press freedom in Turkey is already not particularly spectacular. In the Press Freedom Index, it comes in at position 149 out of 180. (2022).
Source The Hindu