Monday, December 10, 2012
Suing People Using Twitter for Insulting
The mayor of Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, is suing 600 people for insulting him on Twitter, according to the Turkish daily, Hurriyet.
In a television interview transcribed by Huriyet, the mayor, Melih Gökçek, described the basis of his lawsuit. “It’s me who tweets, not someone else in my place and I sue those who insult me,” Gökçek said.
“There are about 600 people now that I’ve sued,” he continued. “In the beginning we weren’t able to catch them with the speed of social media, but now we can. We caught approximately 80 percent of those who have insulted me. When you give their names and accounts to police, they find themselves in front of prosecutors. But if they apologize publicly, then I say they’re young and forgive them.”
Gökçek’s legal grounds are derived from Turkey’s Article 301 which makes it illegal to insult the “Turkish Nation,” a term which can include government entities such as Gökçek.
The mayor is apparently proud of the legal action, though. After one columnist tweeted “Melih sued 600 people who insulted him on Twitter,” Gökçek retweeted it.
According to the other sources, the mayor searched the one of the people who insulted him on Twitter. After the search he discovered that the insulter was college student and disclosed her phone number on Twitter and said that such an action was not appropriate for a college girl.
This story is interesting and funny because we did not encounter such an investigation before on the social media. Also, disclosing phone number, and consequently personal identity, of the person who insulted him gave rise to reactions on the social media.