Blocking Saudi social networks is 'losing war'

Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal. (SUPPLIED)

Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, one of the world’s most influential persons, warned telecommunications authorities in the conservative Gulf kingdom against blocking social networks, saying such a move is a losing war.

Al Waleed warning followed reports that the state-run Saudi Telecommunications Company could suspend some websites on the grounds some users are violating rules by posting comments deemed as rude and anti-government.

Newspapers quoted the Prince as saying on his Twitter page that social networks, which have attracted millions of users in Saudi Arabia, have become “an instrument for the people to get their voices to reach the leadership.”

“The mere thinking of blocking these instruments is a losing war and a pressure on the citizen,” said Al Waleed, who has bought a stake in Twitter for $300 million.

The Saudi Arabic language daily Sabq said the Prince’s comment on Twitter was widely welcomed by newspaper readers and social network users.

 

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