The Saudi Liberal Network, one of the biggest local forums, have announced today that the website will be shut down due “extraordinary circumstances and expensive costs.” In a short message posted on their homepage, the owners apologized for the sudden closure.
Earlier today I spoke to one of the forum moderators, who told me the decision to close the website was very difficult. “The owners have come under a huge pressure. They had no choice but to shut it down,” he said. The moderator did not reveal who was behind the pressure, but he said it was from “high above.”
However, this sudden closure could be temporary as we have seen in the past when the forum was closed for 8 months during the year 2008 and then reopened again. The website has also gone under many cyber attacks over the past five years. Such attacks have been a well-known feature of the war between liberal and conservative forums in the country.
My source tells me that the owners are currently looking into passing the ownership to a new group of people who can continue to carry the torch. But until a further announcement, the future of the Saudi Liberal Network remains unknown.