Advertising Ban of X (Formerly Twitter) Lifted in Turkey

03.07.2024

A long-standing advertising ban on X (formerly known as Twitter) has been a topic of discussion.

The concept of social network provider had been regulated for the first time by the Law No. 5651 on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed through These Publications (Law No. 5651), and certain obligations have been imposed on social network providers. Subsequently, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) had published its decision (Decision) on the Procedures and Principles on Social Network Providers.

Accordingly, pursuant to Law No. 5651 and the Decision, foreign social network providers with more than one million daily accesses from Turkey are obliged to designate at least one real or legal person as an authorized representative in Turkey. In case of breach of this obligation, sanctions such as administrative fines and advertisement bans are gradually imposed. As a matter of fact, the last type of sanction among the gradual sanctions is the reduction of the internet traffic bandwidth of the social network provider by fifty per cent in the event that a representative is not appointed within three months from the date of the advertisement ban decision.

A recent development on this matter occurred with X. As you may recall, the ICTA banned advertising on 19 July 2023 for the social network provider X, which did not fulfill its obligation to appoint and notify a representative. At this stage, X would have faced bandwidth throttling sanctions if it had not opened a representative office within the allotted time. Eventually, with the ICTA decision published in the Official Gazette dated 22 May 2024, the advertising ban on X, which opened a representative office in Istanbul and reported it, was lifted.

Compliance with this regulation is commercially and reputationally important for social network providers, considering the consequences and sanctions of non-compliance.

You can reach the relevant ICTA decision here (only available in Turkish).

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