A couple of days ago, the Turkish government decided to ban its citizens and those living within its borders from using Twitter. Unfortunately this had to be one of the worst bans put into effect because not only did Twitter themselves offer up a solution to Turkish residents, but it seems that the ban did anything but lessen the amount of tweets sent.
In fact according to the numbers, the ban actually saw an increase of tweets from Turkey rise by 138%. At the same time the ban also led to the rush of people downloading VPNs, such as Hotspot Shield which saw a total of 270,000 downloads from Turkish users within 12 hours.
According to David Gorodyansky, the company’s chief executive, he estimates that around 10,000 downloads would take place a day in Turkey on your average day, but when the ban was announced, the number of downloads spiked. Based on a rough estimate, the amount of downloads in 12 hours would basically equate to about a month’s worth of downloads on any given month. Yikes!
For those unfamiliar with Hotspot Shield, it’s basically a VPN which allows users to surf the web anonymously and encrypts their data. It connects users through servers in the US or other parts of the world, allowing users to access websites they normally wouldn’t be able to because it might have been banned in their own country.
According to Gorodyansky, “People are realizing…that they want the right to privacy, and they want the right to access any kind of information they want. We’re agnostic politically, but we have a point of view in the fact that we believe the Internet wants to be free, and information should be available.” It just goes to show, when there’s a will, there’s a way.