Tweets must respect the UAE leadership and cultural heritage

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority's new white paper says Twitter users should not post direct, specific threats of violence against others.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 15 Jul 2014, 1:14 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:56 AM

A new white paper released by UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has issued guidelines for Twitter usage in the country. UAE has 360,000 Twitter users who share some 2.5 million tweets per day.

Twitter is an online social networking and micro blogging service that allows users to send and review text-based messages known as tweets.

UAE laws prohibit the publication of content which is contrary to public morals, principles of Islam, and the social and moral welfare of the UAE. It also prohibits any content that contains irreverence towards Islam and any other religion.

The content must also respect the UAE Government, its leadership, political institutions and ultimately the UAE’s cultural heritage and social norms and customs. In reference to Twitter, the white paper highlights the following information as a priority for all respective subscribers:

Users must not post direct, specific threats of violence against others. This also includes hate speeches, and content that is threatening or contains graphic or gratuitous violence or any offensive content against any nation or its government.

The white paper also asks users to think carefully about the content they are posting. Users are responsible for the content they post, and should bear this in mind if they are posting content which they do not own or which contains material that is subject to someone else’s rights. Also, users must not publish other people’s private information without their consent.

TRA has developed a series of white papers designed to highlight the terms and conditions of using popular social networks in the UAE. The social networks included in ‘The UAE Social Media White Papers’ collection are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Yahoo/Flickr, LinkedIn, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Store, BlackBerry and Keek.

Govt Social Media Summit

Despite the rising numbers of Arabs online and 82 million active social media users across the region, the use of social media channels to communicate with the government is still limited.

Social media’s increasing potential for governments to proactively engage citizens will be a key topic of discussion at this year’s GCC Government Social Media Summit.

Scheduled to take place from September17 – 18, 2014 at the Sofitel Dubai Downtown, the GCC Government Social Media Summit 2014 will be held under the theme ‘Innovative social networks for effective collaboration and smart governance’ and is expected to attract more than 300 regional and international communications and social media experts.

“Arabs today have a positive attitude towards governments engaging with citizens via social media channels,” said Fadi Salem, director of the governance and innovation programme at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, and member of the GCC Government Social Media Summit 2014 advisory board.

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