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Saudi Arabia Bans Facebook 227

Posted by kdawson
from the graven-images dept.
gandhi_2 sends in a brief Associated Press piece on Saudi Arabia's blocking of Facebook. "An official with Saudi Arabia's communications authority says it has blocked Facebook because the popular social networking website doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values. ... He says Facebook's content had 'crossed a line' with the kingdom's conservative morals, but that blocking the site is a temporary measure." Some reports indicate that at least some individual Facebook pages can be reached from inside the kingdom. There hasn't been an official announcement; the source noted above requested anonymity. Earlier this year when Pakistan and Bangladesh banned Facebook, it was over particular content — cartoons of Mohammed — and the Saudi ban may prove similar once more details emerge.
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Saudi Arabia Bans Facebook

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  • yep... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @01:40PM (#34216214) Homepage Journal

    ... and nothing of value was lost.

    (in either direction, IMO)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @01:41PM (#34216218)

    .. what websites all these backwards countries ban and block?

    We get it. They're against anything that lets people speak publicly against Islam supremacy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @01:54PM (#34216294)
    Yet more proof that religious folk are vulnerable to the creation of oppressive sociopolitical groups. It doesn't matter that (obviously) many folks in Saudi Arabi want to access Facebook. The powers that be say they can't, in the name of "God". Tell me how a group of atheists, or better yet, agnostics, could ever create something so ridiculous? Seriously, give me one example.
  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @02:06PM (#34216388) Journal

    Yet more proof that religious folk are vulnerable to the creation of oppressive sociopolitical groups.

    Half right The US props up the Saudi Arabian theocracy because an oppressed Saudi Arabia is a Saudi Arabia which delivers energy and military supremacy to the US without anyone having the chance to question it.

    But Facebook isn't dangerous any more than cannabis is dangerous. That said, ban it and you'll remind the locals of your power while lazy foreigners wave their arms abourt over a loud but minor detail. It's the opposite strategy to giving US citizens guns and making them think they're well defended against a tyranny, but the effect is the same: do something irrelevant for distraction.

    Meanwhile, you continue imposing your will.

  • by mangu (126918) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @02:11PM (#34216420)

    The atheists that created soviet Russia

    Karl Marxk == Mohammed
    Das kapital == Quran

    Marxist are atheists in a technical sense, but they display the same amount of blind fanaticism as religious people.

  • by Joe U (443617) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @02:48PM (#34216662) Homepage Journal

    >> all these backwards countries

    Yeah, and the US government, media and public - all - just love wikileaks, eh? Kudos to hypocrisy.

    I seem to be able to get to wikileaks from the US.

    I seem to be able to make up my own mind about what I can and can not read.

  • Re:yep... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jawnn (445279) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @02:51PM (#34216692)
    On the contrary, the loss of the right of an entire nation of individuals to access certain media via the Internet is a tragic loss. Yes, the content in question is largely vacuous and no great loss, but the loss of the liberty is definitely not trivial.
  • by KiloByte (825081) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @03:04PM (#34216792)

    Not to mention portraits of the prophets everywhere, worship rituals, religious processions (with mandatory attendance), holy scripture and a priest class.

    The last part is even funnier if you consider that the primary claimed benefit of communism was a "class-less society".

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @03:10PM (#34216814) Homepage

    > ...last week they got elected to UN's women's rights agency.

    You need to put "elected" in sneer quotes. The candidates for these positions are always determined in advance by backroom deals, with the number of candidates normally equalling the number of openings. This one was actually unusual in that there were 11 candidates for 10 positions. Of course, the organization itself only exists for propaganda purposes. It will not benefit women in any way (except for those female politicians who use it to futher their careers).

  • Re:yep... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @03:40PM (#34216956) Homepage

    To be precise, they didn't lose liberty. They simply never had it.

  • Re:yep... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geckipede (1261408) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @03:50PM (#34217012)
    This is nowhere near the top of the list of liberties that the Saudis are lacking. Compared to everything else that's already in place, that's been in place for decades, which is accepted... yes, this is trivial.
  • Re:yep... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cgenman (325138) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @04:11PM (#34217102) Homepage

    I find it ironic that we're spending american lives on bringing "Freedom and Democracy" to Iraq and Afghanistan, when our close friends the Saudis are a hugely oppressive monarchy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @05:13PM (#34217424)

    On the other hand, they have the right to participate in public executions with human rights violators (not of, with)

    But such "entertainment" is always part of islam, of course. It's close to the only allowed form of entertainment (which is why it is the only allowed use of sports stadia, for example, according to "the muslim students" (taliban in arabic))

  • by misexistentialist (1537887) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @05:14PM (#34217428)

    Blaming Islam is wrong... Blaming those corrupt individuals who exploit their interpretation as a tool of oppression is what we should focus our efforts on.

    Islam was designed to be an instrument of oppression--like pretty much every religion. It's possible it can be "reformed" and its inherent purpose perverted like western religions, but Islam itself will fight this process, and fundamentalists will always have a coherent cause.

  • Re:yep... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @05:22PM (#34217464)

    Fortunately, they suck at it. I believe the daughter of the police chief was arrested last year for webcamsex. Half the royal family been arrested for the most ridiculously stupid behavior as well.

    And apparently islam demands that women be locked up in burning houses. That was too idiotic for even the saudi population. Now just moving on the rest of the paedophile religion ... and maybe there's hope for those countries.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:46PM (#34217852) Homepage Journal

    The movement has taken Islam from being an unquestioned powerhouse of intellectual and cultural innovation to being perceived as a force of stagnation

    Your whole post founders on this misrepresentation. Islam was never a powerhouse of anything. Arabic people, under less repressive versions of Islam, managed to make some significant progress. but Islam itself, like almost all religions at almost all times, is a repressive force that imposes false beliefs in non-existent entities on children, who then grow up with crippled critical thinking facilities, not to mention more gullibility than they ought to carry and a good dose of fear inculcated by the religion's dogma - punishment on the one hand, rewards on the other. Islam, like Christianity and most other theistic religions, alternates between fairly benevolent social oversight, and madness like Sharia law (or worse)

    Islam is the albatross around the neck of these countries, much as Christianity has been the albatross for America and England for most of their days.

    Religion cannot be eradicated except by force on the one hand, as long as tolerance for bullshit exists as an idolized social component; or until the combination of crippled critical thinking facilities, gullibility, and fear can be eradicated.

    It's not just that people are stupid - though many are - if that were all it was, we would already be free of the mental quagmire that is religion. Religion is a mechanism for control that has been tuned for century after century until it grips the unprepared mind with the ease of a healthy tiger taking down a diseased sheep. If credit must be given to Islam and/or Christianity for holding things together in some tough times, this is far outweighed by the incredible amount of damage they have caused, lives spent chasing mythology when further exposure of reality would have been of much greater use to the world, lives expended in various punishments for not following the dogma... crusades, fatwas, jihads, blood libel, brainwashing, theft, subjugation of women, rape, pillage, repression, "witch" burnings, financial parasitism, torture, scientific repression, murder of "heretics", censorship and blue laws, theft, sanction of excessive breeding, pogroms, inquisitions, vilification of sexuality and the outlawing of many consensual family arrangements... religion is poison at best, and at worst, it is viral, deadly, and ultimately destructive.

    Islam is not the problem

    No, Islam is the problem for this particular region. Islam can never be given the credit for the technical achievements of any people; instead, we can credit lighter versions of it for simply not getting in the way quite as much. Dogma that insists on mythological creatures who demand worship has never been much of a positive force for anything, albeit ameliorating problems it had been complicit in causing in the first place, and creating art dedicated to the deit(y|ies).

  • by I(rispee_I(reme (310391) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:57PM (#34218366) Journal

    Two caveats:

    1) It's not as simple as saying, "Commies are atheists, so all the bad stuff communists did was because of atheism." History shows that Soviet authorities used religion as necessary to keep power. There is also evidence of government officials baptizing their children in spite of their government's lip service to atheism.

    2) If Christians are not to be held accountable for the use of their beliefs to justify crimes against humanity (children's crusade, quoting the bible to justify slavery, a million others), why are atheists responsible for actions committed in the name of atheism?

  • by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:02PM (#34218412) Homepage

    It will not benefit women in any way (except for those female politicians who use it to futher their careers).

    Great, lets hope the female politicians in Saudi Arabia use it to further their careers.

  • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:46PM (#34218710)
    Tyranny of this sort should be rewarded in the manner exemplified by Hassan-i Sabbh [wikipedia.org]. But the people of Saudi Arabia won't rebel against this bullshit in any meaningful way, so it's not my concern.
  • Re:No problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:54PM (#34218746)

    Hey, if it's good enough for the Southeastern US...

    Oddly enough, except for the difference in religion, they essentially hate the same things. They both hate:

    1. Religious freedom
    2. Freedom of speech
    3. Intelligence and free thought
    4. Creativity
    5. "Elites" which are anyone who has half a brain in their head and uses it (as opposed to actual elites like the Saudi "royal" family which uses their inherited wealth to oppress people).

  • Re:yep... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kiwimate (458274) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @09:25PM (#34218950) Journal

    Not this tired theme again. We get it - you think it's cool to despise Facebook, a kind of geek goth cred. Whatever.

    For millions of people it's a way to keep in touch with friends and family which is easier and more effective than e-mail or other means, and that has value. For millions more, it's a relatively harmless diversion.

    Deal with it.

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