A bomb went off in Turkey today, killing some people in a crowded tourist area. Turkey has blocked many social media outlets so that those using in the country can't access them (Twitter, Youtube, Facebook...). They've blocked social media in the past as well, various times. What's the point of doing this in response to a terrorist attack?
Turkey has a longstanding policy of restricting access to social media platforms following explosions, political incidents and terror attacks. However, the policy has been criticized for limiting access to support and assistance, and curtailing press freedom, in times of emergency.
The stated reason is:
Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) announced hours after the incident that it has reduced internet services for social media platforms across the country "[to stop the spread of] terrorist content and the images that violate the press ethics after the explosion in Taksim".
This is pretty common in India too as a security measure and sometimes even mobile connections are disrupted by the government during terrorist attacks or riots. As @Trilarion said in his comment, it is to control the flow of information to:
- Prevent the spread of rumours that may cause the public to panic.
- Prevent the spread of rumours or even factual content that may incite the public to riots and organise attacks against some community.
- Prevent the temporary dissemination of terrorist content.
- Disrupt communication between terrorists who may be communicating and coordinating through the internet.
- In some rare cases, to undemocratically prevent the public from criticising the government or organising public protests against it.