Facebook complies with Turkey page block order

Turkish flag Turkey had threatened to block access to Facebook if the page was not removed

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The BBC has learned that Facebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.

If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site.

The site is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

Facebook declined to comment but it does have a policy of blocking access to content within a country if it breaks local law.

Facebook publishes a report of requests from governments around the world for user data. The latest report, which covers the period January - June 2014, shows that 1,893 "content restrictions" were made inside Turkey during that time.

Also during that period, Turkey temporarily blocked access to both Twitter and YouTube.

"These companies might be US-based but their users are global - they have to respect local traditions and customs," said cybersecurity expert Prof Alan Woodward from Surrey University.

"They are obliged to obey the laws of the country - the key is transparency.

"There's danger in a government censoring what people in a country see, so the people deserve to know if something is being censored."

According to Amnesty International one of Turkey's biggest newspapers, Cumhuriyet, is under criminal investigation for publishing a selection of images from French magazine Charlie Hebdo following the massacre of its editorial staff.

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