LONDON: Yonca Brunini, Google's head of marketing for pan-EMEA, has criticized the Turkish government for banning YouTube and Twitter in a move she labeled as a "very sad state."
Speaking on the empowering nature of technology at Advertising Week Europe, the Turkish-born Brunini said it would not be "just" if she did not address the situation in Turkey when "I’m here giving a speech on freedom of expression and how technology enables that."
"I just want to say I’m hugely disappointed with [the YouTube and Twitter ban]. I find it ironic when I’m here talking about freedom of expression and how technology is a superpower and that is a very sad state in my country," she said. "But I’m an optimist; time is on our side. I really wanted to share these stories from emerging markets because they are so striking and less well-known."
Brunini detailed a number of projects that used Google products to empower people, including the story of "armchair activist" Eliot Higgins.
Higgins, who uses the online alias of ‘Brown Moses,’ compiled YouTube videos from war-torn Syria to build evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons.
Human Rights Watch has claimed American and French intelligence agencies told it that the evidence collected by Brown Moses from his armchair in Britain was more accurate than their own intel.
Brunini also detailed how YouTube was used by a Kenyan man to teach himself how to throw a javelin, and the footage was enough to teach him to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.
"I believe technology is a force for good," Brunini said. "There are many people in the world who will disagree with me."
This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing.