Global video platform owned by Google, Youtube’s EMEA Managing Director of Emerging Markets, Alex Okosi has published a note on the platform’s blog announcing that the video platform is going to open a local office in Turkey in compliance with the Social Media Law.
Turkey had passed the Social Media Law in July 2020 and as part of this law has given a fine twice to digital platforms in the past month 10 million TL the first time and 30 million TL the second time. As digital rights & liberties activists and platforms had been waiting for the digital platforms’ response to Turkey’s coercive legislation, Youtube has announced that they would open a local office in Turkey in compliance with the requirements of the law.
The company’s EMEA Managing Director of Emerging Markets, Alex Okosi published a blog post announcing “We remain committed to our Turkish users, creators and business partners, and will continue to preserve the platform’s vibrance and openness.”
Youtube’s blog post continues:
“Since launching in Turkey in 2012, YouTube has become home to tens of thousands of successful creators who contribute to a thriving creative economy. They include entrepreneurs, journalists, entertainers, teachers and a wide diversity of voices that reach a global audience through the platform. For Turkish users, YouTube is a source of information, a venue for creativity, curiosity and learning — a place to explore ideas and be entertained. At YouTube, we understand the important role our open platform plays and we will continue to make decisions to nourish and protect this ecosystem.
Over the past few months, we have been thoroughly analysing Turkey’s recently amended Internet Law No. 5651, which provides new requirements for social media platforms such as appointing a local representative, complying with removal & response turnaround times and publishing semi-annual transparency reports. YouTube respects the laws and regulations in the countries where we operate, while maintaining our commitments to freedom of expression, access to information, and transparency. We have been able to find a way forward and will commence the process of appointing a local representative legal entity in compliance with the law, without compromising our values.
YouTube will set up a legal entity in Turkey to serve as a local representative, providing a local point of contact for the government. This step toward compliance will not change how YouTube reviews content removal requests, nor will it change how YouTube handles or holds user data. Currently, we review government removal requests when notified through the correct legal processes and disclose these requests in our transparency report, in keeping with our stance on transparency. We will continue to evaluate these requests against the law and our own policies, maintaining the processes we have in place.
We remain committed to our Turkish users, creators and business partners, and will continue to preserve the platform’s vibrance and openness. “