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Turkish authorities block URL shortener briefly due to ‘technical error’

A popular link shortening service was briefly blocked in Turkey due to a ‘technical error,’ sparking an outcry

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A popular link shortening service was briefly blocked in Turkey due to a “technical error,” sparking an outcry, the Istanbul-based daily Hurriyet reported Saturday.

An official from the Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) spoke with Hurriyet under the condition of anonymity said bit.ly was unblocked at 5.15 p.m. after the brief outage caused by a “technical error.”

Internet users in Turkey read a TIB mesage when they clicked a link shortened by the popular site bit.ly, stating that the access to the service was blocked by the state body as a “precautionary administrative measure” on Friday afternoon.

The official did not explain the nature of the error, but several social media users suggested that authorities could have received a complaint to remove content citing a shortened link, but mistakenly blocked the service instead of the destination link.

Bit.ly does not host any content.

The incident happened after a March bill gave TIB the legal authority to remove or block online content without a court order in four hours.