• People hold placards as they protest against Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan after the government blocked access to Twitter. (AFP)
Social media rating agency Somera says usage of Twitter increased by 33 per cent in Turkey since a ban went into effect late on Thursday.
Source:
AAP
23 Mar 2014 - 4:14 AM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2014 - 6:42 AM

Users are deftly employing ways around a blackout of Twitter in Turkey, leading to increases in the volume of messages posted from the country, as the government's ban of the popular social networking site enters its second day.

Estimates by data services say millions of tweets have been sent in the first 36 hours of the ban, including some by President Abdullah Gul, who was critical of the move, and pro-government newspapers, which have posted messages trying to justify the decision.

Social media rating agency Somera said usage of Twitter increased by 33 per cent since the ban went into effect late on Thursday.

Hashtags about the ban were trending both inside the country and abroad, making the topic of Twitter in Turkey one of the most talked about issues on social media.

The ban started hours after embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to "root out" Twitter, which has been utilised by anonymous users to publish audio recordings appearing to implicate the country's political elite in bribery and corruption.

The Sabah newspaper printed a list of 16 reasons given by the prime minister's office for the ban. One specifically referenced the online wiretap leaks, including recordings of Erdogan's private conversations.

"Twitter has become a way for gangs to post illegally obtained montages and voice recordings of a person, which leads way to character assassination," according to reason number four on the list.

Data-crunching services estimated some 17,000 tweets were being sent a minute from the country. While initially usage dipped in the early hours of Friday, users quickly discovered workarounds.

Some of the most popular methods included changing DNS settings to Google's public domain, employing proxy networks known as VPNs, connecting via the Tor network of virtual tunnels and similar systems, many of which are free.

Graffiti and posters went up around Istanbul publicising the ways to get around the ban. Some Turkish television and radio stations also explained to their audiences how to circumvent the blackout.