Saudi Arabia Blocks Facebook For Hours Over Moral Concerns

On Saturday, Facebook was blocked for several hours in Saudi Arabia after the government deemed it morally inappropriate in accordance with the country’s conservative values, according to PC Magazine. Several news sites have quoted officials claiming the social networking site “crossed a line” and necessitated its ban that day. Saudi visitors who attempted to log in to Facebook during that period of time faced a “content restricted” screen. Later that day, the block was lifted shortly after its ban, prompting catchy headlines around the online media community and the blogosphere.

The specific reason behind the ban remains unknown. A blogger on claims action was taken against pornographic material coming from Facebook, but this has yet to be confirmed. ReadWriteWeb blogger Curt Hopkins wrote that the ban was in direct response to atheistic postings on Facebook by Palestinian barber Walid Huseyin, who was arrested after he posted items pretending to be Allah.

Saudi Arabia’s Facebook ban comes after another recent ban on digital content. Earlier this year, the Saudi government ordered a ban on all Blackberry devices in the country.

For more information, visit Saudi Arabia’s ONI profile.