Twitter on Tuesday slapped a second “hateful conduct” warning in just days on a message from Turkey’s interior minister condemning the LGBT community’s role in month-long student protests.
Turkey has been hit by weeks of rallies across major campuses against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s appointment of a loyalist to head Istanbul’s prestigious Bogazici University at the start of the year.
Police detained 159 students after storming a protest staged inside the fenced-off campus on Monday night.
AFP reporters saw plain clothes police make more arrests as students tried to march along a central street in the capital Ankara on Tuesday.
The standoff over the rector gained a new dimension when someone hung a poster near his office depicting Islam’s holiest site with pictures of the LGBT rainbow flag last week.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu tweeted on Saturday that “four LGBT freaks” had been detained for “inciting hatred” with their poster.
Twitter hid that message under a warning that it violated the platform’s “rules about hateful conduct” — the same thing it did to tweets from former US President Donald Trump before banning him last month.
Soylu posted a new message on Tuesday asking why Turkey should “tolerate LGBT deviants”.
Twitter hid that message under another “hateful content” warning that requires an extra click to see what the minister said.
The offending messages also cannot be retweeted.
Twitter has been one of the few platforms to resist a new Turkish requirement for social media giants to appoint local representatives who can quickly follow court orders to take down contentious posts.
Turkey hit Twitter with an advertising ban as punishment last month.
Twitter’s continued resistance could make it effectively inaccessible inside Turkey should officials follow through on threats to cut off its bandwidth by 90 percent in May.
Major platforms such as Facebook and TikTok have appointed local envoys and will avoid future fines and bans.
Soylu’s tweets add to the social pressure on the LGBT community under Erdogan’s increasingly conservative rule.
Homosexuality has been legal throughout modern Turkey’s history but Istanbul Pride has been banned since 2016.
Erdogan on Monday accused the LGBT protesters of “vandalism”.