Last week, a new wave of Internet censorship began in Turkey after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed at an election rally that he would "eradicate Twitter." Hours later, Twitter was blocked. Now it looks like the ban has expanded to include YouTube.
The Turkish telecommunications authority TIB said on Thursday that it was taking an "administrative measure" against YouTube, reported Reuters.
The news quickly spread to Twitter, which is still banned inside of the country.
While Turkish residents were originally getting around the Twitter ban by changing their Domain Name System (DNS) settings, recently the Erdogan government has been cracking down, forcing Twitter users to download mobile virtual private network (VPN) apps or tweet via text message.
This is not the first time YouTube has been blocked. The previous ban started in 2007 and ended in 2010, and "trained a whole generation on basic circumvention techniques," Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, previously told NBC News.
The ban comes after conversations implicating Erdogan of corruption were leaked on YouTube last month. Important local elections are scheduled to be held on March 30, 2014.
A "source at the prime minister's office" in Turkey told Reuters that the ban was related to leaked conversations about a potential military operation in Syria and that it might be lifted if the offending videos were removed from YouTube.
“We're seeing reports that some users are not able to access YouTube in Turkey," a company spokesperson for Google, which owns YouTube, wrote in an email. "There is no technical issue on our side and we’re looking into the situation.”
First published March 27 2014, 8:32 AM
Keith Wagstaff is a contributing writer at NBC News. He covers technology, reporting on Internet security, mobile technology and more. He joined NBC News from The Week, where he was a staff writer covering politics. Prior to his work at The Week, he was a technology writer at TIME.
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He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.