Turkey Court Bans Facebook Pages Insulting Prophet Muhammad

PHOTO: Thousands of people participated in a challenge on Facebook to share things they are thankful for.Getty Images
Thousands of people participated in a challenge on Facebook to share things they are thankful for.

Facebook has been ordered by a Turkish court to censor pages insulting the Prophet Muhammad or risk being blocked entirely in the country.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reported the ruling was handed down late Sunday by a court in Ankara. The order comes days after another court in the country banned sites showing the latest cover of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the news comes during the same month that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken out against censorship.

Following the recent massacre at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, Zuckerberg re-affirmed his commitment that "Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas."

"We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world," he wrote in a January 9 post.

At a town hall in Colombia on January 14, Zuckerberg expanded on why Facebook continues to operate in countries that put restrictions on speech, bringing the focus back to the reason why he founded the social network.

"This gets to the heart of our mission. We want to help connect everyone and give people a voice," Zuckerberg said.

A government passing a law restricting speech should not get in the way of people in the country still being able to connect with friends and family, he said.

"I really deeply believe we are best serving the world ... by continuing to push for as much expression as possible," he said, adding that Facebook does push back when it is asked by governments to filter something.