The misuse of social media can have terribly adverse affects when people indulge in wars of words or spread false information online.
“ Social media impact is something everyone is aware in the region and if this is misused it creates a hostile situation,” Mohammad Al Arab, Al Arabiya correspondent in Bahrain, said at the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Media Forum in Bahrain. “In Bahrain we have witnessed this first hand of anonymous online accounts on social media spreading false information that there is a war happening here, which is totally wrong.”
Al Arab said that anonymous accounts online were responsible for misusing the medium and that the new generation was the most active on social media.
He was speaking during a workshop on E-content that included several GCC media personalities.
Social Media Club- Kuwait chapter president Hind Al Nahedh said it was encouraging to see an increasing number of youth use social media for different purposes.
“They are all using different tools to communicate to the world,” she said. “Kuwait is the number one country that actively uses Instagram, where users post personal pictures and promote their businesses.”
Another expert, Jassim Salman from Qatar, added that Facebook users were the most active in Egypt stressing that scores of Egyptians also watched YouTube videos.
“One should look at the social media to spread the right information and create an impact,” he said. ‘’A simple Hashtag can create buzz online with response generated from top officials and even decision makers.”
He added that traditional media was quickly shifting to social media, a fact recognized by the industry globally.
Omani Salma Hajeri spoke about the importance of social media and it uses in Oman to promote education, business and other ventures.
Social Media Club- Bahrain Chapter president Ali Sabkar said that all users should analyse their content before posting anything online.
“Up to 75 per cent of youth use social media and everyone should be carefully study their content before they post it to their target audience,” he said.
The two-day forum is organszed by the Information Affairs Authority, with the participation of 150 GCC experts including GCC information ministers, specialized media and telecommunications professionals and academicians.