A few days ago we reported that Saudi Arabia had blocked and unblocked access to Facebook for a few hours. They are now claiming it was a mistake.
Sultan Malik, a spokesman from Saudi’s communications agency, has said: “The Facebook blockage was an accidental error which affected some parts of the Kingdom and it resumed its normal operation soon after it was fixed. There are no changes to Facebook in the Kingdom; the site will operate as usual.”
The reports were confusing from the beginning. The kingdom’s Communication and Information Technology Commission had at first said that Facebook was at odds with the country’s conservative standards, and that it had decided to ban access to it “over moral concerns.” A few hours later, the service was restored, but no details were released as to why they had suddenly changed their minds. We asked you guys to tell us if any of this was true, and in your comments many of you in Saudi Arabia said it had been a “technical error,” that your access had been restored, or that it had never been restricted at all.
It makes sense that it might have all been a mistake. But in the context of previous temporary bans by Pakistan and Bangladesh, and an impending ban from Turkey (Facebook’s third largest market), it legitimately made everyone a little nervous.