Tajikistan Authorities Reinstate Access to Facebook

Having being blocked for a week or so, Tajik authorities have finally reconsidered its previous decision of terminating access to Facebook in the country and restored access to Facebook again, according AFP reports.

Facebook, along with three other websites, were blocked in the country, after authorities directed ISPs to restrict access to these sites. The three other websites which were block include Russian news sites, particularly zevzda.ru, centrasia.ru, tjk.news.com, and maxala.org. The decision was taken in a response to several articles published on the sites, criticizing the Tajik president.

It was reported by EFF that any user who attempted to access the blocked the sites were directed to their ISP’s homepage.

However, AFP reported, citing a spokesman for one of Tajikistan’s ISP’s said, “Yes, we’ve allowed access to Facebook but we don’t know how long it will last. If we again receive a signal to shut it down we will have to comply.”

Eurasia states that where Facebook has been removed from the blacklisted sites, the news sites will remain blocked. The source further states that Facebook was accessible throughout its ban period via the use of proxy servers.

In spite of apparent threat, the use of social network in the country is negligible under the most favorable conditions. The world’s largest social networking website only has more than 34,000 users that account for a mere 0.46% of the total population. When we look at the social network’s penetration rate of its online population, it is still miserably low at 4.95%.

If we consider the figures of December 2011, the country’s Internet population rates calculated at slightly over 10% of the total population of Tajikistan.

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