Turkey implements ban on Twitch and Kick streaming services

Turkey reportedly lifted the ban on Kick after it removed gambling-related content

Turkey's National Lottery Administration has taken action to block access to popular live-streaming platforms Twitch and Kick. While the official reasoning behind this ban has not been disclosed, it is believed to be associated with concerns over gambling-related content being streamed on these platforms.

The decision to restrict access to Twitch and Kick was announced through the Information and Communication Technologies Authority’s website, citing specific decisions made by the National Lottery Administration.

This move follows ongoing scrutiny surrounding online gambling activities, particularly within the context of live-streaming platforms. Gambling is considered a misdemeanor in Turkey and providing avenues for such activities is deemed as criminal offense.

Turkey's approach to internet regulation has been stringent, with numerous websites being subjected to access bans in the past. In 2022 alone, over 137,000 websites were reported to have been blocked by the government.

The decision to block Twitch and Kick is not an isolated incident. In recent years, similar actions have been taken against platforms deemed to host content that violates Turkish laws or societal norms.

For example, the popular social network Ekşi Sözlük faced an access ban for over a year, citing “national security concerns” following criticism of the government's response to natural disasters.

While the ban on Twitch and Kick is seen as a measure to curb gambling-related content, it also raises questions about freedom of expression and online access within Turkey. The Constitutional Court has previously ruled against similar access-blocking decisions, citing violations of freedom of expression.

According to the latest update, Turkey has reportedly lifted the ban on the streaming platform Kick after it removed gambling-related content, following concerns over its influence on youth. However, Twitch remains blocked in the country as it has not taken action to censor gambling streams.

Concerns regarding gambling streams on Kick are not new. In response to criticisms regarding the increasing number of these streams, in June 2023, Kick CEO Eddie Craven announced a new update aimed at reducing the prominence of gambling streams on the platform, allowing users to disable such content altogether.

Craven's announcement also included measures to combat view count manipulation and minimize exposure to gambling-related content, reflecting Kick's commitment to fostering a positive user experience and maintaining neutrality for content creators.

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Written by Silvia Pavlof

Silvia has explored various forms of writing, ranging from content creation for social media to crafting movie scripts. Drawing on her experience as a journalist specializing in the gambling sector, she is currently investigating the impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain on traditional gambling and iGaming.

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