Azzam Alameddin, the company's director of public policy covering the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey told the Turkish parliament's digital media committee that the company is always open to negotiations with the public and the authorities.

Facebook says it respects the national interests of the country where it operates.
Facebook says it respects the national interests of the country where it operates. (AA)

A Facebook representative has appeared before a Turkish parliamentary media committee to represent the multinational technology company's views.

He emphasised that the company cares about the safety of its users, freedom of expression and also the national interests of the country where it operates.

"We are always trying to strike a balance between security and freedom. Meta is not something supranational. It is impossible for us to consider ourselves superior to you." Azzam Alameddin, the company's director of public policy covering the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, told lawmakers of the Turkish parliament's digital media committee on Thursday. 

The director noted that the company has always been constructive and open to negotiations with the public and authorities.

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Accountability measures

Turkey passed a law in July which requires social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to maintain representatives in the country to deal with complaints about content on their platforms. 

Companies refusing to designate an official representative are subject to fines, advertising bans and bandwidth reductions that would make their networks too slow to use.

According to the law, the local representative of social media companies would be tasked with responding to individual requests to take down content violating privacy and personal rights within 48 hours or to provide grounds for rejection. The company would be held liable for damages if the content is not removed or blocked within 24 hours.

Turkish authorities fined the social media giant at least $5.3 million (40 million Turkish lira) last year for not complying with the request to assign a representative.

READ MORE: Turkish parliament passes social media bill

Source: TRTWorld and agencies