Turkey prosecutors seek jail terms for two Bloomberg reporters

The charges come after Turkey’s banking regulator agency, BDDK, complained about an August 2018 Bloomberg story on the currency crisis amid tensions with the US. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 14 June 2019

Turkey prosecutors seek jail terms for two Bloomberg reporters

  • Prosecutors accuse the two reporters of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability
  • An Istanbul court accepted the indictment and the first hearing is set for Sept. 20

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors are seeking a jail term of up to five years for two Bloomberg reporters who had written about how authorities responded to last summer’s currency collapse, the US-based news agency reported.
The charges come after Turkey’s banking regulator agency, BDDK, complained about an August 2018 Bloomberg story on the currency crisis amid tensions with the United States.
Prosecutors accuse the two reporters, Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic, of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability, Bloomberg said late Thursday.
The news agency’s editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said: “We condemn the indictment issued against our reporters, who have reported fairly and accurately on newsworthy events. We fully stand by them and will support them throughout this ordeal.”
An Istanbul court accepted the indictment and the first hearing is set for September 20.
Turkish media reported 50 others, including journalists and columnists, were also indicted for commenting on the currency crisis on their social media accounts.
In April, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Western media coverage of the country’s economy after a Financial Times report questioned the central bank’s management of foreign currency reserves.
Turkey’s economy has slipped into its first recession in a decade after a currency crisis last year battered the lira, leaving foreign investors jittery over the government’s policies to manage growth.


Google tightens political ads policy to thwart abuse

Updated 21 November 2019

Google tightens political ads policy to thwart abuse

  • The Internet company said its rules already ban any advertiser, including those with political messages, to lie

SAN FRANCISCO: Alphabet Inc’s Google will stop giving advertisers the ability to target election ads using data such as public voter records and general political affiliations, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
The move comes at a time when social media platforms are under pressure over their handling of political advertising ahead of the US presidential election in 2020.
Google said it would limit audience targeting for election ads to age, gender and general location at a postal code level. Political advertisers also can still contextually target, such as serving ads to people reading about a certain topic.
Previously, verified political advertisers could also target ads using data gleaned from users’ behavior, such as search actions, that categorized them as left-leaning, right-leaning or independent. They could also upload data such as voter file lists to target ads to a lookalike audience which exhibited similar behaviors to those in the data.
Google will enforce the new approach in the United Kingdom within a week, ahead of the country’s general election on Dec. 12. It said it would enforce it in the European Union by the end of the year and in the rest of the world starting on Jan. 6, 2020.
“Given recent concerns and debates about political advertising, and the importance of shared trust in the democratic process, we want to improve voters’ confidence in the political ads they may see on our ad platforms,” Scott Spencer, vice president of product management for Google Ads, said in the blog post.
Google is the top seller of online ads in the United States, but smaller rivals with fewer targeting restrictions may now attract more business from campaigns, one political ad buyer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Wednesday.
Google added examples to its misrepresentation policy to show that it would not allow false claims about election results or the eligibility of political candidates based on age or birthplace.
Last month, Google refused to remove an ad run by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign on its YouTube video-streaming service that Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s campaign said contained false claims, because it did not violate the policy.
A Google spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday that the video would still be allowed under the latest policy.
Social media giant Facebook Inc. has been criticized by lawmakers and regulators over its decision to not fact-check ads run by politicians on its platform, while Twitter has decided to ban political ads.
Google also clarified that its policies for political and nonpolitical ads prohibit doctored and manipulated media.
On Dec. 3, the company will expand its ad transparency efforts to ads related to state-level elections, including them in an online database created to catalog political advertising.