The Dictator’s Dilemma

My Observer Comment piece on the latest episode in the ongoing conflict between the state and the Internet.

Here we go again: authoritarian ruler finds that social media are making life uncomfortable for him in the run-up to elections; finds Twitter particularly annoying; instructs local authorities to shut off access for his citizens; announces that he is unbothered by international criticism of this act of censorship which, he says, will demonstrate the power of his republic.

Welcome to Turkey, our staunch ally in the fight against jihad and the Forces of Darkness. There is a certain grim familiarity in the story of Prime Minister Erdogan’s battle against social media…