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The World Wide Web

Twenty years after it was created, its inventors say that the web is not all done, and that the new changes will “rock the world.”

March 16, 2009 5:09 by

The use of internet (and the web) in the Middle East has been growing constantly. According to Internet World Stats, as of March last year, more than 20 percent of the region’s population was using the internet, a huge leap from 10 years earlier.

However, even as more and more people in the region go online, the issue of censorship gains more prominence. Countries in the region such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia block websites that oppose or challenge the moral, religious and cultural ethics of the region. And that includes sites on homosexuality, dating, gambling, and anti- Muslim ones. Sites like Flickr are also banned, and parts of YouTube are inaccessible.

Last week, Dubai’s police chief Lt Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim called on the government to ban YouTube in the country because it “incites hatred”. Tamim reportedly said that the video-sharing website contained material that “sparked dissension,” especially regarding religious belief. “Publishing pornographic material and defamatory ideas is not freedom,” he commented in Emarat Al Youm.


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