Twitter might be preparing to scythe its 140-character tweet restriction, but the social network itself could be facing the axe after missing a deadline to pay a fine in Turkey.
Back in December, Turkey’s communications regulator, BTK, fined Twitter 150,000 lira ($50,000) for failing to remove terrorist-backed propaganda from the social network. But Twitter has yet to cough up the money, according to Reuters, leading transport minister Binali Yildirim to announce that his country will “take measures” to ensure the company pays its fine.
This is the first time Twitter has faced such a fine in Turkey, but Twitter and other social networks have been targeted a number of times in recent history — most recently when Turkey blocked both Facebook and Twitter following the terrorist atrocities in Ankara. It’s not clear what “measures” Turkey has in mind to ensure that Twitter pays. But given that it’s blocked Twitter in the past, it’s clear the country’s authorities are prepared to take such action when they deem necessary, although blocking the network would seem like an extreme measure in this instance.
Last year, France mooted a law that would make social networks hate-speech accomplices if they failed to remove messages posted by extremist groups. France also recently passed a law that would give government powers to block online communications during states of emergency.
VentureBeat has reached out to Twitter to verify whether it intends to pay the fine.