Syria Lifts 5-Year Facebook, YouTube Ban

'Appeasement' measure dumps 5-year shut-down
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2011 1:20 AM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2011 6:00 AM CST
Syria LIfts YouTube, Facebook Ban
Syrian protesters hold candles during a vigil for those killed in the Egyptian demonstrations. The Arabic placard read:" Yes for freedom".   (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman)

Syrian authorities are lifting a 5-year-old ban on Facebook, YouTube and other Internet sites in a move seen as an attempt to appease the public and stave off the kind unrest rocking Egypt. The country's state-owned ISP is in the process of unblocking sites including Twitter and Blogspot, although Wikipedia is still blocked, the Next Web reports.

Social networking sites have played a key role in unrest elsewhere, although Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad believes his nation will remain stable. Syrian Internet users, meanwhile, say they've been using proxy servers to access the banned sites for years. "We are all using it anyway, so I don't see what difference it makes," one Facebook user tells the Guardian.
(More social media stories.)

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