Media has ‘responsibility to spread tolerance,’ UAE minister says

The UAE’s Minister of State for Tolerance Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi. (Photo: Dubai Press Club)
Updated 03 May 2017
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Media has ‘responsibility to spread tolerance,’ UAE minister says

DUBAI: The media has a responsibility to spread a culture of tolerance, the UAE’s Minister of State for Tolerance Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi said at the 16th edition of the Arab Media Forum (AMF) in Dubai Tuesday.
The two-day event, themed “Civil Dialogue,” brought together more than 3,000 participants and industry experts to examine the role of the media in promoting peaceful coexistence and tolerance.
Speaking during the opening session of the forum’s second and concluding day, Al-Qasimi was asked to explain the UAE’s stance on tolerance and why it is so important for the media to play a role. The session was moderated by Sky News Arabia anchor Majed Al-Faresi.
Al-Qasimi, who was appointed in 2016 as the country’s first minister of tolerance, told a room full of industry experts that the media in the Arab world has a “great responsibility” to foment a culture of tolerance and understanding, especially among “youth and the global media.”
She outlined the need for transparency in the media and added that the rise of “fake news” on social media negatively affects perceptions held by readers, saying “the media must correct this” as well as “correct misconceptions about the image of the Arab world.”
The issue of fake news flagged by the minister has been making headlines the world over, with Facebook recently announcing its aim to tackle its spread online via multiple avenues, including paying into a $14 million fund to promote news literacy and increase trust in journalism.
Such erroneous news websites feed into the spread of extremist content online, the minister said, while calling for media organizations in the region to boost positive, tolerant content as a form of “protection against extremism.”
Regarding the UAE’s bid to promote tolerance, the minister shared her view that the country’s efforts to encourage freedom of worship for its 200 resident nationalities boosted “common values and peaceful coexistence.”
The 16th edition of the AMF, which ended on May 2, brought together prominent media figures, academics and experts to discuss a range of topics related to the Middle East region and media.


Facebook cracks down on bogus posts inciting violence

Updated 19 July 2018
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Facebook cracks down on bogus posts inciting violence

  • Facebook may remove inaccurate or misleading context, such as doctored photos
  • Hate speech and threats deemed credible are violations of Facebook rules, and are removed

MENLO PARK, United States: Facebook on Wednesday built on its campaign to prevent the platform from being used to spread dangerous misinformation, saying it will remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.
The new tactic being spread through the global social network was tested in Sri Lanka, which was recently rocked by inter-religious over false information posted on the world’s leading online social network.
“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” a Facebook spokesman said after a briefing on the policy at the company’s campus in Silicon Valley.
“We will be begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”
For example, Facebook may remove inaccurate or misleading context, such as doctored photos, created or shared to stir up to ignite volatile situations in the real world.
The social network said it is partnering with local organizations and authorities adept at identifying when posts are false and likely to prompt violence.
Misinformation removed in Sri Lanka under the new policy included content falsely contending that Muslims were poisoning food given or sold to Buddhists, according to Facebook.
Hate speech and threats deemed credible are violations of Facebook rules, and are removed.
The new policy takes another step back, eliminating content that may not be explicitly violent but which seems likely to encourage such behavior.
Facebook has been lambasted for allowing rumors or blatantly false information to circulate that may have contributed to violence.
Many see Facebook as being used as a vehicle for spreading false information in recent years.
Facebook has implemented a series of changes aimed at fighting use of the social network to spread misinformation, from fabrications that incite violence to untruths that sway elections.