Breaking: Linkedin Restores Service to Syrian Users, Says a Human error!

19 Apr, 2009

Update1 &2: end of the post.

After ArabCrunch broke the news that linkedin kicking off Syrian users, which caused an outrage among Arab internet users. Kay Luo LinkedIn Sr. Director of Corporate Communications  said that the block was made by a human error,  and it will be resorted shortly .
In an Email to ArabCrunch she said:

“I  hope this email reaches you.  I am very sorry that we mistakenly restricted accounts in Syria.  This was brought to the attention today and it should be resolved by tomorrow.  The issue was a human error that resulted in over compliance to export controls.
I just located your mobile number: —————–  Do you mind if I call you?  I would like to personally apologize on behalf of LinkedIn.”

She just called me and told me her apologies, she also said she is looking forward to visit Syria and only allowed me to say that some changes made to Linkedin site that resulted in this block, but she was not able to comment on any specification of the law.

However software download will remain blocked like the Linkedin Outlook add-on. I have agreed with her to send her an email asking her to investigate the story and tell me if the US Law against Syria also prohibit software downloads.

She originally tweeted this to ArabCrunch:

@ArabCrunch Thx for tweeting this. Sounds like a problem on our side, am looking into the situation right now, will update you soon.

Jillian York blogger at The Huffington Post and Middle East and North Africa author for Global Voices Online,  also got similar email from her and was posted on The Huffington Post a comment on ArabCrunch story and Global Voices Online.

Whether a Human error or an intentional move, it is a good step by Linkedin to respond quickly to this matter and solve it, and I actually thank Luo for fixing this mater and calling us to apologies, and  I will also wait for her response regarding my other questions.

US companies should know that blocking certain Arab users might result in an online campaign to be launched against them by angry bloggers at a Global scale.

I would like also to thank Jillian for her efforts who also mentioned ArabCrunch on The Huffington Post .

Update: I forgot to add to the last post: the tweet of Rias A. Sherzad cofounder of Salam Business Club (SALAMBC ) the professional social network that targets business people from in the Arab, Asian, and Muslim world, who said we don’t ban.

you can ind ArabCrunch Linkedin group here.

Update 2: In response to ArabCrunch email regarding Google’s blocking download to all its product and any access to code.google.com , Joanne Kubba, Google Middle East and North Africa, Global Communications and Public Affairs Manager. Said “I am going to look into this for you as I am not aware of what is happening on our product situation in Syria – I will be forwarding to the product team in London and Zurich and will hopefully know more by tomorrow.”

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  1. Mamod  |  April 19th, 2009 at 10:12 AM #

    Wow, what a quick response, I really appreciate Linkedin effort to fix this issue and for their apologies, I now admire Linkedin even more.

    This level of professionalism proofs that Linkedin is a trustworthy place on our profession network 😉

  2. Khaled  |  April 19th, 2009 at 10:43 AM #

    Thanks Gaith, you are really awesome …

  3. Khaled  |  April 19th, 2009 at 10:52 AM #

    I don’t think it was a “Human error”, but they felt shame after posting about it in ArabCrunch, because Anas contacted them and they replied in an ugly way.

    The blocking is finished now, however I still get:
    “Access to this account has been suspended.”

    I’ve also contacted them to see what’s going on.

  4. Gaith Saqer  |  April 19th, 2009 at 11:10 AM #

    Also not to forget the effort of Jillian York from the HP who took the story from Global Voices Online Copy post from ArabCrunch linkedin post:
    http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2009/04/18/syria-linkedin-kicks-off-syrian-users/

    Also The famous Arab American As’ad AbuKhalil of political professor of science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley, posted about this too here: http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/04/blocked.html

    moreover your comments on AC and ur tweets also might be behind this.

    ArabCrunch will be the voic

  5. Hiconomics  |  April 19th, 2009 at 12:36 PM #

    Well done to everyone who pushed for this…Gaith, Jillian York, AngryArab… and the rest of us who made some noise.

    Pleasantly surprised to see the response on Twitter and the blogosphere… and even more by LinkedIn’s U-turn.

  6. Gaith Saqer  |  April 19th, 2009 at 5:54 PM #

    @Hiconomics thanx 🙂 we should be all together supporting Arab Internet users. AS @Khaled: give it a few hours as it is the weekend up in USA.

  7. Gaith Saqer  |  April 19th, 2009 at 5:55 PM #

    Btw I also Asked her about Sudan, if also the ban was lifted.

  8. Okbah  |  April 19th, 2009 at 8:00 PM #

    Regarding to SALAMBC, I am not convincing in like these social networks, because I am sign up and enter all personal information but I haven’t receive any email since that to confirmation my data and I can’t sign in to it.

  9. Rias A. Sherzad  |  April 19th, 2009 at 8:23 PM #

    Dear Okbah,

    Please e-mail us your account details (username of e-mail address) at info(at)salambc(dot)com and we will check what has happened with your user account. As per now we’re not aware of any signup issues, things seem to work fine.

    Many Thanks,
    Rias A. Sherzad
    CEO & Founder, Salam Business Club

  10. Breaking: Linkedin Bows: Restores Service to Syrian Users, Says a Human error! | ArabCrunch « euraktiva  |  April 20th, 2009 at 7:35 AM #

    […] Breaking: Linkedin Bows: Restores Service to Syrian Users, Says a Human error! | ArabCrunch. […]

  11. Google:” Ще проверим проблема със сирийските потребители.” « Intidar  |  April 20th, 2009 at 1:53 PM #

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  12. While White-listing Syria, Linkedin Keeps Sudan Blocked! | ArabCrunch  |  April 20th, 2009 at 11:30 PM #

    […] Linkedin the business social Network blocked Internet users in Syria, and then unblocked them and apologized as ArabCrunch has reported. I was confirmed that Internet users in Sudan (an African […]

  13. Global Voices Advocacy » While White-listing Syria, Linkedin Keeps Sudan’s Internet Users Blocked!  |  April 21st, 2009 at 1:54 AM #

    […] permissions: After Linkedin the business social Network, blocked Internet users in Syria and then unblocked them and apologized (as ArabCrunch has reported.) It was confirmed to that Internet users in Sudan (an […]

  14. Linkedin, code.google.com and GoDaddy Briefly Unblocked Sudan! -US Congressman Brian Baird: Sanctions do not require blocking! (Exclusive Video Interview)  |  July 27th, 2009 at 11:39 AM #

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  15. @3GFalcon  |  July 31st, 2009 at 12:15 AM #

    salam i posted the story here:

    Linkedin, code.google.com and GoDaddy Briefly Unblocked Sudan? -US Congressman Brian Baird: Sanctions do not require blocking! (Exclusive Video Interview):

    http://arabcrunch.com/2009/07/linkedin-code-googl

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  18. new mazda sydney  |  December 4th, 2009 at 10:08 AM #

    I don't think it is a network error, because i tried ultra surf and the search worked fine, i also tried another ISP without the proxy bypass program and the result was the same 403 Forbidden……… what do you think the problem is?

  19. sydney mazda  |  December 4th, 2009 at 10:20 AM #

    Some changes made to our site recently resulted in Syrian users being unable to access LinkedIn. In looking into this matter, it has come to our attention that human error led to over compliance with respect to export controls. This issue is being addressed tonight and service to our Syrian users should be restored shortly

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  28. Arab Crunch demands Anas’s Freedom « Free Anas Maarawi- الحرية لأنس معراوي  |  July 9th, 2011 at 6:13 PM #

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