Birthday Gift: Turkey Bans Twitter as 140-Character Sensation Celebrates 8th Birthday, #FirstTweet Goes Viral

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | March 21, 2014 4:36 PM EST

Twitter celebrates its 8th birthday today, March 21. While it gave a unique gift to its users to check the very first tweet of every user (going viral with hashtag #FirstTweet), Turkey had other gift ideas on the birthday of the social media giant.

REUTERS/Eric Thayer
A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan banned Twitter in the country. Additionally, he threatened that he would ban other big social media Web sites like YouTube and Facebook as well. Reuters reported that Twitter was blocked in Turkey shortly after midnight. Mr Erdoğan was pretty articulate about his intention to ban social media hours before actually blocking Twitter. Online social platforms like Twitter and Facebook serve as a great tool for protesters in the country.

National newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported that Mr Erdoğan earlier said that he had acquired a court order. He said that he would "eradicate Twitter." At the same time, he said that he would not care what the international community might say about the ban. He clearly wanted to prove a few points by banning Twitter in the country as he said on March 20 that it would show everyone "the power of the Turkish Republic."

Meanwhile, everyone seems to have been floating in the new-found adventure of going back to the past and check how celebrities started their Twitter journey. Interestingly, Twitter does not reserve the right to see the first tweet of a user to the individual only. It has kept it public as one can see the first tweet of a particular user using the particular twitter handle of the user. This, however, is not going to be possible if the user "protected" the earlier tweets.

Twitter has written in a blog that it has become a place of free expression where one can make "real" human connections and discover ideas even though it started merely as a 140-character "plain text" platform. Here are the first tweets of some of the most popular people on Twitter.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Eric Thayer / )
A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013.
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