21 Sep'17

Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

Snapchat has removed the Qatar-based media outlet Al Jazeera from their platform in Saudi Arabia. BBC reports.


Snapchat have stopped Al Jazeera stories from displaying, and have removed the entire channel from their Discover section. The Discover section is a space on their platform for media outlets to post videos and articles. Snapchat’s actions comes after the request from the Saudi  government, who accused Al Jazeera of violating local laws.


A spokesperson for Snapchat stated, ‘We make an effort to comply with local law in the countries where we operate’.


However, ‘violating local laws’ is an ambiguous allegation, and no light has been shed as to what Al Jazeera have done.


Al Jazeera have published an article about being blocked from Snapchat, and have quoted the Al Jazeera Media Network’s acting Director, General Mostefa Souag, stating,


‘We find Snapchat’s action to be alarming and worrying. This sends a message that regimes and countries can silence any voice or platform they don’t agree with by exerting pressure on the owners of social media platforms and content distribution companies. This step is a clear attack on the rights of journalists and media professionals to report and cover stories freely from around the world,’


It should be known that the Saudi government have previously had a vendetta against Al Jazeera. One of the thirteen demands addressed to Qatar in June of this year was to shut down Al Jazeera. These thirteen demands were withdrawn.