Turkey suddenly blocked access to Reddit over the weekend, before unblocking it again without any explanation.
According to The Verge, the block first when into effect on Friday. A tool on the Turkish telecoms authority’s (TIB) website said that the social news and communities website was blocked under Internet Law No. 5651.
It’s a law that has been used to censor multiple other sites in the past, including Twitter, YouTube, and imgur. In 2014, The Turkish government passed new laws allowing authorities to censor the internet more easily. The TIB is able to block any website in just four hours.
No reason was given for the Reddit ban — and it has now apparently been unbanned, again with no reason given.
Business Insider tried to access Reddit using a Turkish proxy on Monday morning and we connected without any issues. Additionally, Reddit users posting on the community r/Turkey reported that it was unblocked for them, and the government block-checking tool now says there isn’t currently a ban.
It’s not clear whether the ban related to a particular piece of objectionable content, or if Turkey simply wanted to make Reddit in its entirety unavailable. If the former, there are ways Reddit is willing to assist the authorities. In August 2015, the website began introducing censoring posts and communities on a country-by-country basis. A post in r/rudrugs isn’t available to Reddit users in Russia, or example, while the controversial community r/WatchPeopleDie is banned to users in Germany.
At the time, a spokesperson said that “we want to ensure our services are available to users everywhere, but if we receive a valid request from an authorised entity, we reserve the right to restrict content in a particular country. We will work to find ways to make this process more transparent and streamlined as Reddit continues to grow globally.”
Reddit announces such blocks on the subreddit r/ChillingEffects, and there is currently nothing there to suggest that a piece of content or community is being selectively censored in Turkey.
Business Insider has reached out to Reddit for comment about the ban, and we’ll update this story when it responds.
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