Facebook shuts BDP page for using ‘Kurdistan’

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Only days after closing down the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) Istanbul provincial branch’s page on Oct. 24, Facebook has closed the BDP headquarters’ page due to the use of the word “Kurdistan.”

The party announced the shutdown, accusing Facebook of increasing censorship, which it said is a result of the company’s constant cooperation with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“Cooperation with the AKP, which discovered the value of social media during the Gezi Resistance days, Facebook is continuing without slowing down. As a result of this cooperation, our party’s censorship on Facebook is gradually increasing. Facebook’s censorship policy regarding our party is similar to the policy of pressure being assumed in the political field,” said the BDP in a statement released yesterday.

Recalling that their Istanbul provincial branch’s page was closed down days ago, the BDP said Facebook’s motive for cooperation with the AKP was its desire to get more shares in advertisement opportunities in Turkey via opening an office here. The new page bans come only a month after BDP officials met with representatives from the social media company in London, after its official party pages were officially closed.

Although they admitted mistakes in their practices during the meeting in London, recent moves show that the promise from the world’s largest online social network, with 1.15 billion members, was just tactical, the BDP said.

“The closure of our headquarters’ page is the most concrete indication of this. Facebook cited use of the word ‘Kurdistan’ in a message posted on the page. The word ‘Kurdistan’ is a legitimate and legal word; however, Facebook’s ban of this [word] is irrational,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Facebook has surreptitiously resumed allowing decapitation videos to be posted on its website, lifting a temporary ban it had placed earlier this year on content featuring graphic violence.

Earlier this month, after a report on the BBC, Facebook said gory photos and videos were permitted on its site so long as the content was posted in a manner intended for its users to “condemn” the acts rather than celebrate them.

Recalling these developments, the BDP described them as part of “a policy that will be a black spot in media history.”

 

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