Saudi Arabia Unblocks Facebook After Brief Ban

Kingdom's communications authority reverses its decision to block the popular social networking site because it doesn't conform with Saudi conservative values.

Saudi Arabia's communications authority unblocked Facebook on Saturday after shutting down the popular social networking website for a few hours.

An official with Saudi's Communications and Information Technology Commission said the kingdom blocked the site briefly Saturday because the content had crossed a line with the country's conservative values.

facebook - Haaretz - November 13 2010

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media, later said the communications authority lifted the ban. The reason the commission reversed its decision hours later was not immediately clear.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam and religious leaders have strong influence over policy making and social mores.

Pakistan and Bangladesh both imposed temporary bans on Facebook this year.