Popular Azerbaijani website azeriblog.com stopped operating on October 20 without giving any reason.
The website owner Farhad Asgarzade is an Iranian citizen. Asgarzade said that he created this website bescause of his interest in the virtual community. Seeing the increase in the number of bloggers, he decided to move to site where he would charge for his hosting service.
“Only 100 of 15,000 bloggers paid 100 AZN over one year, bringing in a total of 1000 AZN. But I spend about 200 USD a month to maintain the website. We couldn’t pay for the server and finally it was closed down,” he said. He added that he decided to sell the website because he was unable to pay the website costs.
“I negotiated with several companies in Azerbaijan to no avail. If I cannot sell Azeriblog, I’ll reopen the website in a week or a month,” Asgarzade said. He went on to say that he would allow the bloggers to take their articles from the blogs if even he fails to restore the website.
Azerbaijani Internet Forum President Osman Gunduz said that Azeriblog's popularity indicated that it is a well-known internet resource. "But Asgarzade's behaviour is unacceptable: he should have given users some warning before shutting down the site." He went on to say that because the website owner is a foreign citizen, the bloggers who paid for the service could take the case to the international courts.