Social Media Websites Banned Worldwide

world map

According to the recent World Information Access report, since 2003, “64 citizens unaffiliated with news organizations have been arrested for their blogging activities”. But it’s not just individual bloggers who are under threat. There have been numerous attempts by governments to censor social media sites. Using IBM’s ManyEyes tool, we’ve created a map of the most censored websites around the world.

You can find the World Information Access report here [PDF] [via]

Unfortunately, this list is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the reports of censorship are based on stories by major news outlets. If we have missed any sites or countries then please leave a link in the comments section to an article with more details so we can update the map.

Also, please feel free to embed the map on your own site. You don’t need to attribute a link to this site, but it would be nice if you could link to one of the following sites:

We only looked at platforms and not individual sites. While some of the sites are no longer banned, we thought it was better to include any that have been banned previously.

Click on the map below to interact with it. (You can also use the ManyEyes tool to update the data yourself).

Here is a table listing which sites have been banned by each country. The most censored site was YouTube where we found reports of nine countries that had censored the site over the last few years.

Country Banned Websites
Brazil YouTube, WordPress
China YouTube, Wikipedia
Ethiopia Blogger
India Blogger
Indonesia YouTube, MySpace
Iran Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia, Orkut
Morocco YouTube
Pakistan YouTube, Blogger, Wikipedia
Saudi Arabia Flickr, Orkut
Syria Facebook
Thailand YouTube
Turkey YouTube, WordPress
United Arab Emirates Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Orkut

List of sources for each site below:




United Arab Emirates













United Arab Emirates


Saudi Arabia


United Arab Emirates














United Arab Emirates

Saudi Arabia

If you have any details of other sites that have been banned then please leave a link in the comments section and we’ll try to update it other the next few days. You can also use and add to the data if you sign-up to ManyEyes.

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43 Readers have left their thoughts

  1. Hi
    I’m from Iran

    Wikipedia not filtered in Iran
    please correct your list.

  2. Hi…I’m in Thailand

    Youtube is blocked by some ISP not all…
    I can see youtube some ISP…

    Thank you

  3. Jackson

    Nice overview. Thanks for putting this together. It’s interesting to which countries fear free speech.

  4. Why blogger and wikipedia have been banned? I am confused to know that. Youtube has some serious issues so no wonders on that.

  5. Expat in Morocco

    You should check out your sources. YouTube was banned in Morocco for a short period only. It is alive and well for more than a year now here. Please don’t spread disinfo, do some homework before posting. What’s banned in Morocco? Google Earth. Why? I would like to know that too.

  6. @zahra, @projectlib @Expat in Morocco. As the article says:

    “While some of the sites are no longer banned, we thought it was better to include any that have been banned previously.”

    The article doesn’t claim that any of those sites are banned now, just that they have been banned previously. I think @Expat in Morocco your accusation of spreading “disinfo” is unjustified as we link to the sources that the map is based on.

    Thanks for all your comments.

  7. Note: Off the top of my head.

    China: sensor Google
    France: Filtering Yahoo at one time

    I am sure there are more, brain tired for now

  8. Thank you admin I’m understand it… ^-^

  9. orkut site is banned in india.. when i go to the web page it says the site is banned..

  10. orkut is banned in india…pls do something..

  11. youtube was banned in Indonesia in a short time, but now it works fine

  12. Manish, Orkut is not Banned in India, nor Blogger.

  13. Tom

    I think this goes against the basic rights of webs. I don’t know why they do so but it is not a right thing.

  14. Orkut is not banned in india.
    I think all the sites in the above list are not banned in India

  15. Why ban Wikipedia or WordPress? Must have something to do with the government trying to control news sources.

  16. Thank you for the post. It’s fascinating to see some countries ban certain sites, but it doesn’t seem common. I’m assuming that it depends on the government.

    For Wikipedia to be banned, it’s a smart move. I don’t think some people realize that Wikipedia is a public post and anybody can write their opinion. Most people I know do not tend to take Wikipedia too seriously because the information on there might not be true. Just my opinion.

  17. I’m surprised Brazil would ban a website like youtube or wordpress. I figured it was just as open as the US.

    Somewhat surprising that China isn’t #1, but they also filter and control things so much that it certainly should be taken into consideration for how much Internet freedom they let people have.

    Good post!

  18. Nice overview. Thanks for putting this together. It’s interesting to which countries fear free speech.

  19. Thanks for the review on different countries that banned many websites.Its interesting to know about different countries that banned the sites.

  20. Tarique

    I am from Pakistan and i am surprised to see the list of various websites banned in my country.Let me clear that we can watch youtube,Blogger and Wikepedia in Pakistam without any restriction.Youtube was banned in Pakistan just for cuople of days.

  21. Stan

    What? Huh? YouTube and Wikipedia are blocked in China?

    I use both almost everyday here in Beijing and I have not heard anything about them being blocked here at all.

    Have you checked your sources at all? This is totally inaccurate!

  22. @stan

    “While some of the sites are no longer banned, we thought it was better to include any that have been banned previously.”

    Those sites might have been banned for a short period, but they were still banned at some point even if it was only for a few hours/days. The sources are listed on the page, you just have to click through and you can view the original sources.

    To be honest, the New York Times is a pretty reliable source as is The Times

  23. I thought this was an interesting blog at first being a web designer, but now I am confused as people have commented on this saying the websites do work in their countries. Can you post an updated list?? Does anyone know if a website built in wordpress would work in Brazil and Turkey, and why a website like that would be band??

  24. Good to know about the sites which are banned in different countries as such. So that we can’t go even to there for posting the articles in.

  25. Stan

    If that is the case, why didn’t you specify it in the beginning of the article. This is, by all means, misleading all your readers here.

  26. Ok, I’m sorry that you feel the article wasn’t clear enough, however, it did specify in the article itself that it is was for sites that have been banned at some point as the quote above points out. I could put the exact same quote in bold if you’d prefer, but I really don’t think the article is “misleading” anybody. All the sources are listed. You could always produce your own version and I’d be more than happy to link to it from this page.

  27. Stan

    If this article is not misleading, I wonder why many people here asked the same question as I did. ..

  28. It’s mad to think that sites like youtube could be banned in so many countries. I think you should maybe try adding an update because I can’t believe wordpress sites would be banned in Brazil.

  29. It’s an interesting article and obviously it’s going to lose accuracy over time, as it gets older. I have had visitor from Brazil commenting on my blog so clearly the laws have loosen over there. But I’m sure sites like Wikipedia will still be banned in China.

  30. Stan

    Why are you so sure of that? Have you even asked anyone who lives in China to verify this for you? I read Wikipedia here in Beijing a few times each week, both English and Chinese.

    Check your sources before your claim or your “sureness” of anything about China.

  31. China have been regularly blocking and unblocking access to Wikipedia, There has been four blocks in total, one lasting a year from October 05 to October 06. Both the English and Chinesse versions have been unblocked since April this year mainly due to the Olympics. Go easy Stan.

  32. Sad to see that any of these sites are banned or censored. Governments tend to try to pretend that they are protecting their people, when in fact all they are doing is protecting themselves FROM their people :P

  33. The UAE banned my horse site years ago. Someone who had pull with them who REALLY wanted to use it got it unbanned several times before he managed to get a permanent exemption for it. That was long before blogs.

    Have you seen the comments Google’s CEO made: “the Internet is a “cesspool” where false information thrives”? His solution is to give Corporate listings prominence. He might even mean they might “clean it up” by not indexing everyone else?

    Already 60-70% of all traffic to any site comes directly from Google organic search or AdWords. How much of the rest comes from sites that ALSO get 60-70% of their traffic from that one source/

    If we do not stop handing Google this monopoly imagine what can happen. How do we know what isn’t being indexed today? Google removed tons of pages from their site. Who knows what is ALREADY MISSING?

    I was recently researching how the economy is affecting businesses. Every blog post and article I could find was several years old. How can that be when NOW is when the economy is in decline? Where is that newer information on this important subject? See the post I linked from this comment for more about how changes in organic search are affecting bloggers and ecommerce online stores.

    What we need is an open source Internet search engine! Use alternate resources whenever possible. I highly recommend you start keeping track of the URLs to your favorite sites in case they can no longer be found in the search engines.

  34. Ankit Bathija

    Blogger is not blocked in India…. I hope you update your list..

  35. India is a free democratic country, Neither orkut nor blogger is blocked here.

  36. Youtube no longer blocked in Thailand. pls keep uodate

  37. mansur


    The blogger is active in India and its LIVE, its not banned

    – fun

  38. This does show what a force the internet is for free speech, and shows that authorities are taking the internets potential seriously. Thankfully despite these banned websites, the internet is impossible to effectively regulate, giving a voice to many

  39. Countries ban sites from time to time as authority seek to control information. Most Chinese I know uses proxy to goto those sites during ban, and most people technically break laws on regular basis. I communicate with my friends in China using World of Warcraft during their facebook ban recently. A lot of silly laws, but nobody is really following them until someone gets caught. Right now it’s not banned, but I expect most of the social networking sites to get banned when it might pose danger to those old autocratic governments’ rule.

  40. david

    in China right now…add facebook to your china list…