Facebook not Banned in UAE

Recent problems accessing the social networking site, Facebook, were not a result of censorship, the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced Thursday.

In recent months rumors have been widely circulated in the Emirates regarding a forthcoming move by the TRA to ban Facebook. Many in the UAE thought that a move to ban the site had been made on Tuesday, when people in the UAE lost their ability to connect to Facebook.com. The problem persisted for several days, though the TRA now claims that the Emirates’ telecom provider Etisalat was at fault, and that the problem was due to a connection error. Fears of a ban persisted in spite of the fact that Etisalat users received a ‘404 Page Not Found’ message rather than the official TRA blocked site notification (pictured above).

Rumors of a ban on Facebook surfaced after a ban on Orkut.com, a social-networking site similar to Facebook, was enacted earlier this year. The UAE’s TRA regularly blocks sites that it considers immoral. In Orkut’s case, being the possible facilitator of dating and finding a sexual partner, amounted to immorality enough to institute a ban. Similarly to other bans, many users have found ways around the UAE ban on Orkut . Still, many of Orkut’s former UAE users moved to Facebook after the institution of the Orkut ban, furthering fears of a ban on Facebook in the Emirates.

Hat tip - ITP.net

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