Ban something and suddenly everyone wants to know why so they would do whatever is possible to get through that ban. It’s human nature. Just like rubber-necking a car crash. So why would anyone in their right mind think that the answer to correct a wrong is simply just to block the source is beyond me. It’s like that perennial image of burying one’s head in the sand and pretending that the situation simply does not exist.

This method simply does not work on the Internet, as the network itself is built with the central premise of resilience and redundancy. It was designed originally even to withstand a nuclear attack; therefore, imagining that a simple URL, keyword or IP block would suffice in eradicating the underlying problem is hardly going to work. Alternate routes will immediately spring up and people will tread those routes with alacrity to at least see what the big deal is. The downside of course is that these blocked sites audiences will probably be distilled into their central support units who might very well use the imposed semi-isolation to propagate even more hate and spread even more sectarian poison without the possibility of people engaging them and ameliorating their fervour. They will flourish in their own vacuum. Hence, the block will simply aid rather than hinder.

Blocking Internet sites is simply not the answer. And doing so administratively without judicial intervention goes against the human rights and press freedom codes the government has ascribed to. At best, these blocks will aid in Bahrain’s further descent in the international freedom indexes, at the expense of sending an impotent political message that this is the only way the government has at its disposal.

Although I don’t agree with a lot of the content of the three sites to be blocked, I don’t believe that blocking them is the correct method which should be used to deter them from spreading sectarian thoughts and hatred.

The sites to be blocked are Awaal.net, Shams Albahrain and Mamlakat Albahrain Forums.

ed: wrong url given originally for Shams Albahrain, this has now been corrected. Apologies.