Article Lead Image

Turkey, your Twitter ban isn’t working—just check Twitter

There's no better way to illustrate that you've failed to block Twitter than everybody tweeting about how you tried to block it.


Kevin Collier


Posted on Mar 21, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 2:40 pm CDT

If you try to access from Turkey right now, you’ll be redirected to multiple court orders stating that the site has been banned.

But for many Turks who use the social media site to protest Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that doesn’t really matter.

Because Erdogan’s ban can only go so far. Anyone savvy enough to use a VPN—or even easier, Tor—can still access it. People are spray painting a DNS workaround all over Erdogan’s party’s political posters. And unless the country starts blocking texts, too, anyone with a cell phone can take Twitter back to its roots, and tweet via text message.

Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.

— Policy (@policy) March 20, 2014

The Hurriyet Daily News, an English-language Turkish newspaper, has reported that more than half a million tweets were posted in Turkey in the ten hours immediately following the ban.

It’s telling that anyone on Twitter’s website can see the currently trending topics emanating from particular countries, including Turkey. As of this writing, the most popular hashtags there referenced the ban itself: #KanBenimTwitterBenim (my blood, my Twitter), #DurdurulamazTürkGenci (unstoppable Turkish youth), and the English-language #ErdoganBlockedTwitter.

Because there’s no better way to illustrate that you’ve failed to block Twitter than everybody tweeting about how you tried to block it.

Illustration by Jason Reed

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 21, 2014, 10:31 am CDT