Team collaboration service Slack has apologized for banning accounts as part of an effort to comply with United States sanctions.
Recently, the U.S. imposed trade embargoes in several countries, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.
“We acknowledge that we made several mistakes here,” Slack wrote in a blog post. “Our attempts to comply with these regulations were not well-implemented. In our communications, we did not treat our customers and other users with the respect they deserve.”
Some Twitter users, including those in Canada, noted that their Slack accounts had been banned just for mentioning that they’d been to countries like Iran.
According to Slack, the banning was not discriminatory towards nationality or ethnicity. Instead, the company says it “uses location information principally derived from IP addresses to implement these required blocks” and doesn’t “collect, use or possess” information related to the nationality or ethnicity of its users.
Slack says it has already restored access to most of the mistakenly blocked accounts and will restore the remaining accounts as soon as possible.
Going forward, Slack says it will only temporarily block users as long as they are visiting a sanctioned country. Account access will be restored once they return to an unsanctioned country.