Snap removes Al Jazeera in Saudi amid Qatar tensions

2017-09-18 10:29 - Sarah Frier
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(Lionel Bonaventure, AFP)

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San Francisco - Snap, owner of Snapchat, removed Qatar-based news service Al Jazeera from its platform in Saudi Arabia amid an ongoing feud between the gulf states.

Snap complies with the local laws in the countries where it operates, a spokesperson for the company said on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar in June, accusing their gas-rich neighbour of backing terrorism.

Among their demands was a request to shut down Al Jazeera television and scale back ties with Iran. Qatar has denied the charges and says the boycott is an attempt to undermine its sovereignty.

Snap was advised by Saudi Arabian authorities that Al Jazeera’s Discover publisher channel violates local laws with other forms of the Qatari news service already unavailable in the country.

On Snapchat, Discover channels are set up like mobile magazines run by a media organisation, sharing revenue with Snap from ads. The feature continues to be a part of Snapchat in other jurisdictions.

The Wall Street Journal reported the action earlier.

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