Under the new law, social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter will be required to designate representatives for investigations and legal proceedings relating to offences on their platforms.

File photo taken on November 20, 2017.
File photo taken on November 20, 2017. (AFP)

The Turkish parliament has ratified a bill to help the country effectively regulate social media.

The legislation was passed early on Wednesday by the ruling Justice and Development Party and opposition Nationalist Movement Party lawmakers.

Lawmakers also approved a motion putting parliament on recess until October 1.

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

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

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Turkey's user data must be stored in Turkey

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

If the representative 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 to 100,000 Turkish lira ($1,500 to $15,000), but the amount would now be between 1 million to 10 million lira ($146,165 to $1,461,650).

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

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Source: AA