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Bahrain TRA warns against social media abuse

Manama, April 26, 2011

Bahrain's telecommunications watchdog has warned social media users against posting and circulating images, videos or messages of an extreme or violent nature.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) made the call in its second SafeSurfBahrain newsletter, which focuses on the abuse of social media.

In the latest edition of the newsletter, the TRA calls on users of BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter to refrain from posting or sending messages that are untrue, of an extreme nature, violent or pornographic.

Commenting the issue, TRA's ICT director, Ahmed Al Doseri made direct reference to the political unrest across Bahrain in recent weeks.

'It has been brought to our attention that video clips taken on mobile phones during the last couple of months of extreme violence have been broadcasted using social media.

'These video clips have been viewed by minors, as users of the Internet and social media we have a duty to protect the young and the innocent,' he said.

In a statement by TRA's SafeSurfBahrain team, it said it wants to ensure that users of social networking media are conscious of not just the positive benefits of being able to keep in touch but also the simple facts that not everything you read online is true.

'Unlike reputable journalism that attempts to verify its content prior to broadcasting or publication this is not necessarily the case when individuals broadcast messages,' it said.

'Likewise reputable journalism operates under a code of ethics that protects the reader or viewer from images of an extreme nature including images of extreme violence or pornography.'

TRA Internet safety adviser Nick Truman meanwhile, stressed the need for constraint before passing on, forwarding or re-Tweeting information that cannot be substantiated or is just gossip.

The authority has advised social media users to think twice before posting information or passing on second hand information.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Telecommunications Regulatory Authority | Internet | IT | abuse | Social media |

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