Saturday, March 5, 2011

Blog banning roulette

First it was YouTube. Then WordPress. Then Google Docs and Maps. Then YouTube again. Or maybe it was the other way around. It's awfully hard to keep up with all the websites that have been banned in Turkey, even in just the three years I've been living here. So-called "Web 2.0" sites seem to create some of the biggest problems as Turkish law appears ill-equipped to deal with the fact that the content on a single website can be created by hundreds of thousands, or even millions of users -- if just one of them insults a revered historical figure or pisses off a rich creationist, it's no skateboarding dogs for anyone.

Somewhat inevitably, the wheel has spun again and come up Blogger. This time around the ban, which comes at a moment of increased concern about press freedom in Turkey, seems to be the result of a simple copyright spat, although Google (the parent company of both Blogger and YouTube) and Turkey have a testy history that may or may not play a role.

Migrating to another web service that might just as well get blocked five minutes from now doesn't seem like too appealing of an option, so for the moment I'm just going to stay put on blogspot and see how things shake out. If you're in Turkey and want to keep reading my blog (which I hope you do!) and others hosted by Blogger, try one or both of these tactics that have been suggested as a way around the ban:

  • Sign up for the RSS feed of sites you like (that link goes to mine), and ask your favorite blogs to switch to showing their full posts in RSS feeds if they're not doing so already.

  • Follow the "Don't Touch My Blog" (Bloguma Dokunma) campaign on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and work-arounds.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

One thing, please be careful what you post as far as DNS numbers. It's common knowledge that the gov is always on the search to close all loopholes. By publishing the numbers you make them obsolete in a short time. BTW, there is some kind of switch over time at about 1 in the morning. Have you noticed this?

I have heard although I would (NEVER) recommend this approach, that many Turkish bloggers have given up their subscription to Digiturk as a result of this ban. I am on the look out for another cable company because this is really too much. Also, you can easily see how much content on regular Turkish broadcasting is copyrighted material. For example, news broadcasts regular steal theme music from films for background to the stories. Why doesn't Digiturk object to this? I know a couple of years ago there was a TV show that stole scripts from old "I LOVE LUCY" shows, translated them into Turkish and produced them. I doubt they paid anything to Desilu Productions Inc. which is still a legal entity, or CBS Corp which owns the rights. It is a very easy matter to go after bloggers. At this moment, you can see on Digiturk an ad which has parts of films incorporated into their own ad. I have to wonder whether there isn't some copyrighted material in this as well. So, you see, this sort of thing is endless.

as far as this legal aspect..Don't you think this law is very convenient? I mean, imagine having the power to silence so many people and yet not be directly responsible for any censorship. As long as this is the result, I doubt very much that the law will change. Who would be motivated?

The Turkish Life said...

Excellent point, thanks. I've updated to direct people to a source for DNS numbers rather than listing the numbers themselves. My access to Blogger has been inconsistent, though I haven't detected a pattern yet.

I don't have a TV myself but would probably drop my Digiturk subscription if I did.

I definitely think the law is extremely convenient, but things are always changing. Access to YouTube has finally been restored, for example. So I have some hope the Blogger ban might not last -- and pessimism that just switching to a different blogging platform would be much of a solution!

cerhart said...

I guess we're back in business. This is good because commenting through my RSS reader was impossible.

The Turkish Life said...

Is there some news? I haven't heard anything. Changing DNS settings seems to be working for me, and strangely enough, the ban never seemed to affect the computers at work.

David from Quillcards said...

How are you managing to post on Blogger with the clampdown in place?

The Turkish Life said...

As explained above :) There's been so many website bans here, everyone is used to finding ways around them.

cerhart said...

I haven't heard anything, only I can access the site normally now. At least from work.

David from Quillcards said...

I don't speak Turkish - any other sources for how to learn about the workarounds?

The Turkish Life said...

David, even if you don't read Turkish, it should be pretty easy to scan @blogumadokunma's Twitter feed for the DNS numbers. I don't want to publish them here for the reason Anonymous wrote above.

Curtis, I've never had any trouble accessing Blogger sites from work... it's a bit strange. But I have heard other people say that they seem to have access now when they didn't before. Fingers crossed...

David from Quillcards said...

Got it - thanks

:-)

Bluegreen Kirk said...

Wow i didn't know it could be so bad in Turkey about the internet. With all the blogs and the so called freedom of speech that some places have i would think it wouldnt be as bad.

Bets in American Roulette said...

I don't know this sort of things can be happened in turkey. so sad.

Advantages of Online Gambling said...

Blogging is very useful in today's world and banning it, is so bad. Turkey's people have face it.