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ANN is blocked in Saudi Arabia




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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
Posts: 8540
Location: Do not message me for support.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:35 am Reply with quote
So I took a quick look at ANN's wikipedia page today (I do that every couple of months) to see what has changed since last time I read it, and I found this:
Quote:
Although the site is a specialized news network in the latest anime, it has recently been blocked in Saudi Arabia where it is believed to contain pornographic material.


This was complete news to me, I had never heard of it. So I took a quick look at our Google Analytics and I my first impression was "No, we haven't been blocked in Saudi Arabia, we had visitors from Saudi Arabia in the last month."

So I looked at our history to see if we've ever been blocked, and what I discovered is that our traffic from Saudi Arabia dropped by 90% in February 2010 and never went back up... So we are indeed blocked in Saudi Arabia.

Interesting...
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egoist
Pirate KingPirate King


Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 7670

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:36 am Reply with quote
Interesting that I've never seen pornographic material here. Are they going to pull one ala Egypt?

Do they block Google as well? Because that thing is the world's number one porn fountain.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 6037
Location: Wales

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:32 am Reply with quote
While there should be no explicit images, the encyclopedia does contain Hentai and one country's "pornographic" is different to another's; remember the fuss Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty made by kissing in public (on the cheek!) in Delhi.
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 3782

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:41 am Reply with quote
tempest wrote:
Interesting...

While serving in the Navy, one of our planned stops was Saudi Arabia (at the request of the government which usually bans nuclear vessels). We were given a full day stand-down (training time) as to go over a list Saudi Arabia deems offensive and infractions could get people arrested.

After major feedback, the crew decided the risk wasn't worth it and we decided to port in UAE (United Arab Emirates) instead (rules were much more lax).

What I find more interesting is the fact the site wasn't already blocked until now.

And yes, egoist, I firmly believe Egypt's role in shutting down the internet has a role in this, just as it does with others in the same region who are also "shutting down" their internet.

It could be worse. These countries can do what the US is doing and, rather than shut down the internet, just take away domains it just doesn't like (and without due process).
Thank Disney.
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Thorn of Camorr



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 36
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:27 am Reply with quote
egoist wrote:
Interesting that I've never seen pornographic material here. Do they block Google as well? Because that thing is the world's number one porn fountain.


Egoist, that comment about Google just made me spit my coke out in laughter, well played.

To echo Shiroi's ideas: I too wonder if the reason ANN is blocked in Saudi Arabia is because the encyclopedia contains entries for hentai? A cursory search brings up the entries fir Bible Black and Night-shift Nurses and Dark Love. I don't claim to be an expert on Saudi Arabia, however I know enough to know how they feel about pornographic material, and seeing as Saudi Arabia is the same country that banned Pokemon because it somehow promotes Zionism, I don't think it would be too far fetched to assume that due to the entries alone on the site, they could be blocking ANN.
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chefneer
Aria CompanyAria Company


Joined: 27 Aug 2009
Posts: 1214
Location: Back in Forth Worth

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:13 pm Reply with quote
Consider also that in Saudia Arabia women showing a lot of skin is generally frowned upon. High school girls in short skirts, showing a lot of leg, and women in skimpy dress in general, may not necessarily be considered pornographic, but they are not necessarily considered decent either, and since they are common in anime, they are all over the website.
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Mettaninai



Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:18 am Reply with quote
Good news everyone!
ANN isn't banned anymore. Now I can stay updated with all the animu news~

And for those of you wondering, I think it was banned because of that old anime stereotype: anime=porn. Which is weird because I've seen a lot of Arabic dubbed anime and merchandise since I’ve moved here. I’ve even started seeing manga volumes at the bookstore lately, IN ENGLISH.

TOO BAD IT’S ALL KIDDIE ANIMU STUFF FROM THE 80s AND 90s.

Even so, you still got your cute girls with short skits running around uncensored. Unlike a few years ago when EVERY. PART. OF. A. WOMAN’S. SKIN. ON. ANYTHING. WAS. SCRIBBLED. ON. WITH. A. PERMANENT. MARKER.
The way they seem to ban things in the Internet though is based on specific sites, whatever you search on a search engine and specific pages from a site. Tumblr’s a great example of this. The “GPOY” tag is block for whatever reason…

And the whole Pokemon thing, yes it was banned but, that was pretty long time ago now (I can't believe it's been ten years already... I feel old :1) and I want to say it was the old king that banned it but, I'm not too sure. The current one's really Western and yeah. :V
ANYWAY, Pokemon's slowly creeping back into the country. The games have always been available (legit and bootlegged alike) the cards and merchandise are what really got banned. I was fortunate enough to buy a kite (from the States) and a whole bunch of (legit) Gen 4 Japanese stuff this year~ /what a pokenerd
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
Posts: 8540
Location: Do not message me for support.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:17 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, the blocking was removed on August 20, 2011.

My inquiries to the Saudi department responsible for Internet censorship were never answered.



If someone wants to update our Wikipedia entry, that would be great (per Wiki guidelines, I shouldn't do it myself).

Please tell all your Saudi anime-fan friends that we're back!

-t


Last edited by Tempest on Thu May 30, 2013 8:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 6037
Location: Wales

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:25 pm Reply with quote
Done.
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AceWhatever



Joined: 14 Sep 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:57 am Reply with quote
I have a confession to make. I think the blocking was partially my fault Confused . I was outsourced to a government building at the time and during my regular ANN surfing routine I clicked on Astro Toy's review of the Revoltech Queen's Blade Nanael, the one you can strip down. Rob had a little too much fun with that one and the IT people monitoring internet usage must have caught it as the site was blocked a few days after that. Laughing Make of that what you will.
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