Posted October 25, 2018 05:53:30The Saudi kingdom announced on Tuesday that it has banned all bloggers and news websites and is investigating any possible “incitement to terrorism.”
The move comes just a few days after the Saudi government issued a sweeping decree in which it banned all internet activities and media outlets.
The Saudi government also issued a list of “terrorist organizations,” including Hamas, the Islamic State group, and others.
A statement from Saudi Press Agency quoted Interior Ministry spokesperson Mina al-Omar as saying that “there are no grounds for investigation of a person for the crime of inciting terrorism or encouraging others to commit terrorism.”
It did not elaborate on what “terrorism” means or whether the banned groups are deemed to be extremist.
Saudi Arabia has also been cracking down on social media platforms, blocking access to news websites, and restricting access to social media.
The government has also targeted “fake news” sites that publish articles that spread misinformation or false news, often using the social media platform to promote false information.
The crackdown on online media came after Saudi Arabia suspended access to websites and other social media in the kingdom in January.
It also blocked social media accounts that published news stories critical of the Saudi royal family.
A total of 10 people were arrested in January for spreading false information, while two journalists and a member of the news media were sentenced to five years in prison for “insulting the Saudi Crown Prince” and “providing false information.”