Sunday, February 05, 2023 | Rajab 13, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Organising the social media!

It is very unfortunate that many of those who are active on social media are circulating inaccurate information and rumours which they call as official reports. But there is no truth in them. They utilise media freedom in the country for the purpose better known to them. Since there are no proper rules to regulate these social media platforms, they find it as fertile ground to spread rumours. Such activities create tension and trouble. This also incites public opinion and creates undue embarrassment for the government in the society. Such rumours are spread as if they are orders or announcements of the government. This puts the people of the country in the state of anticipation. People think that if such announcements are made by the government, it would implement them on the ground.


For such rumours and inaccurate information, catchy captions and attractive images are made and circulated so that it draws the attention of everybody. These lies are put on these social media platforms as if they are accurate and reliable. Such claims which do not have any iota of being true are crime in the eyes of the law. There is no doubt that the government is making all efforts to serve the people in the best possible manner. It has declared objectives to achieve. It is leaving no stone unturned to achieve them. Therefore, these objectives should not be mixed with rumours on social media. It does not serve any positive purpose. Instead, it misleads public opinion and general perception.


Social media has become a reality of life. It should be organised on the same lines as the traditional media. They are a vital part of the modern life and crucial for both the government and the society, if used in proper manner. Sometimes, it also poses threat of all sorts. Therefore, it is a must that there should be certain rules and regulations to prevent any misuse of these platforms. If inaccurate information would be spread on social media, it would leave its negative impact in the minds of the common people, individuals, and the society.


The neighbouring countries in the Gulf region and other Middle East nations have realised the importance of regulating the social media, the same as other arteries which are known as traditional print, electronic and digital media. There should be certain terms and conditions for dealing with the reality. They should be disciplined. These rules and regulations should remind the people who are active on social media about the moral values and ethics of dealing with any information. Accountability should be determined so that such open space is never exploited.


The posts of the twitterati who are called influencers are closely monitored if they mention anything about the government or are against the local values in those countries. Certain rules and regulations are devised to make them accountable, so that they cannot create trouble or spread rumours.


The use of social media in our country has become ridiculous and dirtier. It does not spare anybody from top to bottom, without any sense of being accountable. We realise the importance of freedom of media and social media. We live in the era of open skies. It should remain so, except if there is no sense of responsibility among those who use these platforms. Such platforms should be utilised for giving information and discussing them. But there are moral responsibilities and ethics which should not be ignored at any cost. Human society always needs certain rules and regulations to protect its values and characteristics.


We expect that the Ministry of Information would be looking into this crucial matter. It has always served the country in the best manner. It would bring certain rules and regulations to govern the social media and streamline the practices which have crossed all moral and ethical limits and have become a matter of concern for the society.


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