Information Note on the Ban of Placement of Advertisement on the Platforms of Certain Social Network Providers (Pinterest, Twitter Inc., Twitter Inc. (Periscope / Scope))
To be effective as of 19.01.2021, placement of advertisements on the platforms of Pinterest, Twitter Inc., Twitter Inc. (Periscope / Scope) has been banned as per the decisions no. 4202, 3768 and 3769 issued by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (‘’Authority’’) and the decisions have been published in the Official Gazette.
According to the first paragraph of additional Article 4 of the Law No. 5652 on Regulation of Broadcasts Made on the Internet and Fight Against Crimes Committed Through These Publications (‘’Law’’), social network providers based abroad having daily access to more than one million users from Turkey should assign at least one person as the representative in Turkey in order to fulfill the requirements regarding notices, notifications and requests sent by the institutions, to respond to the applications made by individuals under this Law and to fulfill other obligations under this Law. The social network provider is obliged to inform the Authority of the identity and contact information of such representative. In addition, the social network providers should post such person’s contact information on their websites in a manner easily visible and directly accessible.
In the second paragraph of the same article, sanctions to be applied against the social network providers that fail to fulfill the obligation to assign and report a representative are stated. According to this paragraph, the social network providers that fail to fulfill the obligation to assign and report a representative shall be warned by the Authority. If this obligation is not fulfilled within thirty days after the warning, administrative fine amounting to 10,000,000 TRY shall be applied against the social network provider by the President of the Authority. In case this obligation is not fulfilled within thirty days as of the application of administrative fine, a second administrative fine amounting to 30,000,000 TRY shall be applied. If this obligation is still not fulfilled within thirty days from the notification of the second administrative fine, placement of advertisements on the platform of the relevant social network provider by natural and legal persons that are residents taxpayers in Turkey shall be banned by the President. In this context, new contracts regarding placement of advertisement cannot be executed and no money transfer shall be made for such purpose.
In the event that this obligation is not fulfilled within three months from the date of the decision on prohibition of placement of advertisement, the President of the Authority may apply to the criminal judge of peace to reduce the internet traffic bandwidth of the relevant social network provider by fifty per cent.
As per the decisions of the Authority, it has been determined that Pinterest, Twitter Inc., Twitter Inc. (Periscope / Scope) have not fulfilled the obligation of assigning and reporting representatives within thirty days after the notification of administrative fine amounting to 30,000,000 TRY. In this regard, placement of new advertisements of the platforms of such social network providers by the real and legal persons that are residents and taxpayers in Turkey, execution of new contracts and making money transfer for such purpose have been banned in accordance with the above provision of the Law. There are no clear sanctions regarding the real and legal persons that fail to comply with the ban decision however the Authority has decided that this matter will be followed up by the relevant institutions and organizations in order to take necessary actions.