government censorship in the news

Some interesting government censor stories…

Item… Government Agency in Turkey tries to block Twitter, doesn’t hold.  Everyone takes to Twitter to complain and kvetch.

Finally fed up, Mr. Erdogan tried to shut Twitter down on Thursday — 10 days before important local elections — after lashing out at the social network at a rally in the western town of Bursa, saying that he did not care about international reaction if national security was at stake.

“Twitter, mwitter!” (the rough equivalent of “Twitter, schmitter!”) Mr. Erdogan said. “We will root out all. They say, ‘Sir, the international community can say this, can say that.’ I don’t care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the state of the Republic of Turkey is.”

Nonetheless, the ban appeared to backfire, fomenting a loud and raucous backlash on Twitter, with the hashtags #TwitterisblockedinTurkey, #occupytwitter, #turkeyblockedtwitter, and #dictatorerdogan quickly becoming popular trending topics globally.

According to Twitturk, which records the statistics of Turkey’s roughly 12 million Twitter users, more than half a million tweets were posted in just 10 hours, despite the ban. Statista, a New York statistics portal, lists Turkey as the fourth-largest Twitter community in the world after the United States, Britain and Japan.

One posting circulated featuring a flock of Twitter’s blue birds pounding Mr. Erdogan’s head with bird excrement. Another superimposed the prime minister’s face on a campaign poster of President Obama, with the slogan, “Yes we ban.”

Then there’s … Pakistan... where, this is actually an age old item.  It happened in Batista’s Cuba when they needed to squelch reports that Fidel Castro was alive.

An article about Pakistan’s relationship to Al Qaeda, and its knowledge of Osama bin Laden’s last hiding place within its borders, was censored from the front page of about 9,000 copies of the International New York Times in Pakistan on Saturday, apparently removed by a local paper that has a partnership to distribute The Times.

An image of the front page — with a large blank space where the article appeared in other editions — traveled rapidly around social media on Saturday. A spokeswoman for The New York Times, Eileen Murphy, said that the decision by the partner paper, The Express Tribune, had been made “without our knowledge or agreement.”

The partner was recently the subject of an attack by an extremist group, she said. “While we understand that our publishing partners are sometimes faced with local pressures,” she said, “we regret any censorship of our journalism.”


Though the article appeared to have been excised from all copies of the newspaper distributed in Pakistan, the story seemed to be available to Pakistani readers online, Ms. Murphy said. There was no answer at a number listed for the partner paper’s parent company, the Lakson Group, on Saturday.

It can’t be this story, as it was in the New York Times Magazine … alongside a piece about bi-sexuals having to prove their worth in the gay community as actual bi-sexuals.  Hard to picture which story would offend and enflame the political religious climate more…

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