Home Saudi Arabia Bans Facebook for Religious Content

Saudi Arabia Bans Facebook for Religious Content

A day after a Palestinian barber was arrested for registering atheistic sentiments on several Facebook accounts, Saudi Arabia has banned that social network outright.

Yesterday, Walid Husayin was arrested in the West Bank town of Qalqilya for, among other things, posting as Allah on a Facebook page. Now Saudi Arabia has blocked Facebook totally as being inconsistent with the kingdom’s morals.

The Saudi Information Technology Commission blocked the site today and users encounter an error message when they try to access it. The head of the commission was quoted in Ha’aretz as saying Facebook’s content had “crossed a line.”

A publication, Batangas Today (via Slashdot) said some pages were still accessible. This could be a result of rolling out the blocking software across servers. Even the most sophisticated online censorship protocols are not like snapping off a light switch.

The ITC head also said, however, that the ban would be a temporary one. Perhaps he presumes Facebook will remove whatever offending material the kingdom objects to.

Other countries where Facebook has been banned include Pakistan, China, Iran, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Syria. Facebook users have been arrested in Syria, Egypt and Palestine.

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