Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia at government’s request
Snapchat said it blocked access to AJ’s Discover Publisher Channel at the request of authorities because it allegedly violated Saudi laws.
Al Jazeera, a Qatari-backed broadcaster, was one of the points of contention in the ongoing dispute between Qatar on one side and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE on the other. All cut ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism. Doha denies the accusation.
The complete shutdown of Al Jazeera was included in the list of 13 conditions which Saudi Arabia gave to Qatar in return for the removal of sanctions.
Saudi Arabia boasts a large social media market, with a reported 8 million Snapchat users alone, mostly thanks to its high density of smartphone owners.
The kingdom is known for its highly restrictive media laws, something Snap Inc. says it tries to abide by: "We make an effort to comply with local laws in the countries where we operate," a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement.