“We will eradicate Twitter,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said at a campaign rally on Thursday. “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.” Some say the ban is an attempt to stem the flow of corruption allegations that have spread on Twitter.
But if silencing Twitter was the Turkish government’s goal, it clearly hasn’t gone as planned.
According to data provided to Mashable by Sysomos, the social media analytics company, Twitter users in Turkey have managed to send 1.2 million tweets since the ban was instituted overnight (7.3 million were sent in the 48 hours prior). That adds up to some 17,000 tweets every minute, leaking out of Erdoğan’s “impregnable kingdom like it was a sieve,” says Mashable’sChris Taylor.
Twitter users in Turkey, of which there are roughly 10 million, have largely gotten around the ban using a patchwork of solutions — some spread by graffiti — involving SMS, DNS, VPN, or Tor. It is only Twitter.com that they cannot access.
The international community has tuned in, too.
In the last seven days, tweets that mentioned both “Turkey” and “Twitter” have grown from a steady 200 per 24 hour period to more than 80,000 a day on Thursday and Friday.
American actors Russell Crowe and Elijah Wood jumped in too, sending the two most popular tweets about the ban, and helping spread attention to the blockage far behind Turkey’s borders (as of press time).
“Turkey has banned Twitter?” asked Russell Crowe. “That is a terrible decision. I don’t understand it.” As of press time that tweet has nearly 7,000 retweets.
“Is Twitter genuinely blocked in Turkey? IF so, this is shameful and scary,” added Elijah Wood. That’s garnered nearly 7,000 retweets as well.
Twitter for its part is working to restore access.