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26/02/2015 11:26 GMT | Updated 26/02/2015 11:59 GMT

Turkey Has Tried To Censor Twitter More Than All Other Countries Put Together

BULENT KILIC via Getty Images
Supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) wave Turkish and party flags during an election rally at Kadikoy in Istanbul on March 29, 2014. Turkey gears up for local elections on March 30 ahead of a presidential vote in six months and parliamentary polls next year. Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamic-leaning party, after over a decade in power, face the first electoral test following months of political turmoil, with mass street protests and a corruption scandal spread via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Amid an atmosphere of distrust ahead of tomorow's election with over 50 million eligible voters, the CHP and tens of thousands of citizen volunteers plan to monitor the ballot count. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey's government accounted for more than half of all requests to block Twitter content in the second half of last year, official figures show.

Following the country's removal of their blanket ban of the social media site in April last year, Twitter's latest transparency report shows Turkey made requests to block 477 pieces of content from 1 July to 31 December.

This accounts for more than half of the total 796 requests made worldwide.

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Infographic supplied by Statista

The country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear in the past he doesn't like Twitter, vowing to "eradicate" it in March 2014 and branding it a "menace".

This is largely because social media makes it easy to criticise the government, which Erdogan has never been a fan of. YouTube was also blocked in the run-up to the 2014 elections as audio recordings alleging people close to the President had been involved with corruption began to surface online.

Twitter objected to around 70% of the country's requests on human rights and freedom of speech grounds, but the claims were shot down in Turkish courts. Fearing another total ban, Twitter caved in and agreed to honour 50% of Turkey's requests, removing or censoring 1,820 tweets and 62 accounts.

Russia, which has a long and storied history of censoring the media, came in second. Having made 91 requests for Twitter to block certain tweets or accounts, they maintain their reputation as an Enemy of the Internet. Twitter complied with 13% of these requests.

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"All these hashtags are so bloody annoying, Vlad. What is a 'mention' anyway?"

"Requests ranged from promotion of illegal drugs to attempts to suppress non-violent demonstrations. While we had a compliance rate of 13 per cent, we denied several requests to silence popular critics of the Russian government and other demands to limit speech about non-violent demonstrations in Ukraine," Twitter said.

Germany came in third, although the majority of the 43 requests were for alleged hateful and discriminatory content, resulting in 37% of requests being honoured.

The USA came in fifth, filing 32 censorship requests, but none were obliged by Twitter.

The UK followed in seventh with 22, but again none were upheld.

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