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Saudi Facebook block was accidental

CITC says no plans to ban Facebook, 'accidental error' to blame for outage

The CITC said that there are no plans to block Facebook.
The CITC said that there are no plans to block Facebook.

Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has denied that Facebook was intentionally blocked in the Kingdom over the weekend.

The Associated Press quoted a spokesman at the CITC as saying the website had ‘crossed a line' with the country's conservative values, leading to a brief block on Saturday, but a later statement from the CITC attributed the block to an "accidental error", and denied any official blocking.

CITC spokesman Sultan Malik 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."

Facebook has around 1.5 million users in Saudi Arabia. The social networking site has faced bans in Pakistan, over an international competition to draw the Prophet Muhammad, and in Bangladesh, after a user posted cartoons of the Prophet and of the country's political leaders.