News Column

TWITTER vs TWITTER

May 15, 2014



The Information Technology (IT) Sector indeed has unleashed a radical revolution and has altered the way we communicate with each other these days. To be more precise, it's bestowed millions of people all over the world with the power to publish their thoughts or 'takes' just at the push of a few buttons.

Thus, the social media tools, today fulfill one's desire; to get published and get publicity without getting rebuffed by a strict editor who in a newspaper would demand all kinds of proof before clearing a story! So, getting published today is no big deal, though one can never be sure about the healthiness of the publicity it would generate.

 This being the fact, it is no surprise people these days stretch the limits and in the process abuse their newfound power to publish to tarnish. It is really not an ideal situation. But, there is no helping the situation as the social media is here to stay.

 This became evident when various ministries in the Kingdom in the recent past had to put up with hostile comments on social media circles. And, think what, the ministries themselves cautioned the people not to believe the false news circulating in the social media using the social media! It appears as a hilarious joke.

Same time, it also acknowledges the power of the social media. So, next time, when your fingers twitch to publish a thought, do go ahead. But, write only responsible comments. The society can never do away with thefts unless the thieves themselves turn over a new leaf! Likewise, it can also never do away with false information campaigns unless the social media users turn themselves into responsible editors! After all, it is our duty to help our government to keep our house in order.

No one else will do it for us.Social media users who use the platform to spread false information are turning out to be a headache for various ministries. The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) yesterday came down heavily on social media users, criticising their antinational attitude.

While MoH was irked by the social media postings which claimed the reporting of MERS cases in the Kingdom, MoE was unhappy with allegations of various schools violating social norms and breaching set educational standards.

Meanwhile panic has begun to grip the country after tweets claimed that Bahrain had introduced a travel ban to combat the spread of coronavirus. The information was outrightly refuted by the MoH, stating that no such bans were in place. The ministry stated yesterday that the circulating "such far-from truth" information is an anti-national act.

It also urged the public not to indulge in such activities, which may cause a state of panic at local, regional and international levels. The MoE as well issued a similar statement denying news circulating on social networks with regard to alleged violations committed within a school's campus.

According to a few social media users, a secondary girls' school in the Kingdom witnessed behaviours that contradict with the educational and social values during an in-house festivity. Public Relations and Media Directorate in the ministry strictly denied the news, stating that the school had organised a farewell celebration, which included academic, entertainment and social activities.

 "The festival was organised in accordance to the ministry's educational norms and regulations. It was under the supervision of teachers and was attended by the ministry's officials and parents," a spokesperson told DT News. The directorate also criticised the shameful reactions to such fake information, which, it termed as an attack on the educated class in the country.

Earlier, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Works had flayed social media users for promoting false news.

By  Muhannad Mansour

muhannad@dt.bh

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Source: Daily Tribune (Bahrain)


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