Turkey blocks Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp after arrest of opposition leaders

turkey social media arrests erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan/Flickr
Turkey has blocked access to a number of leading social media and messaging platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

The country’s renewed clampdown on the digital communication outlets comes in the wake of the arrests of opposition politicians belonging to Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party.

Internet monitoring tool Turkey Blocks reported the outages at 1am local time on Friday, starting with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Less than an hour later, it also confirmed Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp had been blocked. Despite Turkey’s troubled relationship with social media, the crackdown marks the first time in recent years that WhatsApp has been targeted. Additionally, Turkey Blocks also noted restrictions on Skype and Instagram, indicating a large-scale blackout of social platforms.

It is thought that some in the country are still managing to get on to the services using virtual private networks (VPN) or proxies.

In the past, Turkey has restricted social media during a crisis or emergency, such as the attempted coup in July and after the violent attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport.

Following the spate of arrests on Friday, demonstrations are expected to take place in the country, with the U.S. State Department urging travelers to avoid Ataturk Park and Inonu Park in Adana, a city located in southern Turkey.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced claiming of a complete internet blackout in southeast Turkey that was believed to have affected approximately six million people.

Last month, Turkey’s government blocked document sharing sites Dropbox, GitHub, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive in a bid to circumvent the spread of leaked emails linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son-in-law.

Erdogan’s targeting of opposition leaders has drawn the ire of the international community who believe his government is still using the failed coup as an excuse to quash opponents and stamp out dissent. Turkey has remained under a state of emergency since the incident took place in July.


Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run, Google+ data breach, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler talked about the latest attraction from the Star Wars Disneyland expansion and other newsworthy headlines, and welcomed guests Luke Hopkins and Fuslie to the show.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.