ANKARA

The Justice Commission of the Turkish parliament approved a bill early Friday that regulates social media.

The bill sets a formal definition of social media providers and aims to designate a responsible representative for investigations and legal proceedings relating to offenses on platforms.

It defines real or legal entities, who allow users to create, monitor or share online contents such as text, visual, voice and location for social interaction, as social network providers.

Foreign-based social network providers that have more than 1 million daily visitors in Turkey will assign at least one representative in the country. This person’s contact information will be included in the website in a way that is obvious and easy to access.

If representative of the provider will be a real entity, not a legal one, it has to be a Turkish citizen.

Social network providers would have 48 hours to respond to orders to remove offensive content.

Providers will also take necessary measures to store data on users in Turkey inside the country.

Administrative fines for providers who fail to meet obligations would be raised to encourage compliance. Previously, fines were between 10,000 -1 00,000 Turkish lira ($1,500 – $15,000), but the amount would now be between 1 million – 10 million lira ($146,165 – $1,461,650).

Turkish leaders have long pushed for reforms, and recently pressed the issue after insults of family members were posted online.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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