Snapchat blocks access to Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

The development was reported earlier by the WSJ.

This being the reason that the United States owned companies like Snapchat Inc comply, as local laws are far more restrictive here.

Snap said that the Saudi ministry of culture and information found the news channel's Discover Publisher Story channel in violation of local laws.

The image messaging application has removed Al Jazeera from its app in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia ranks 168 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders' 2017 World Press Freedom Index, the Journal reported.

Al Jazeera has always been accused by the Saudis of being a tool for Qatar to stoke opposition to regional governments.

The wider political context here is a regional power struggle, with Saudi and its Gulf allies seeking to maintain the political status quo and viewing Qatari as a destabilizing risk.

The Saudi government and neighboring countries Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates all placed economic blockades on Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based.

"This sends a message that regimes and countries can silence any voice or platform they don't agree with by exerting pressure on the owners of social media platforms and content distribution companies", said Mostefa Souag, acting director general, Al Jazeera Media Network.

They also demanded that it close broadcasting giant Al-Jazeera.

In June, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and air, road and sea transport links with Qatar.

  • Jack Mann