The problems to be tackled include racism, discrimination, xenophobia, bullying and invasion of privacy.
Saudis use social media for an average of five hours per day, according to a study conducted by international market research firm YouGov.
The charter will be written by users of communication networks from all over the Kingdom, said Abdullah Al-Shamlani, spokesman for the General Authority of Audiovisual Media.
It will be designed to allow all citizens who wish to be involved to participate in the drafting of the first official version of the Kingdom’s ethical charter for social media.
“The creation of the charter will go through two parallel paths,” Al-Shamlani told Arab News.
“One is dialogue between specialists in various fields and influencers in the media world through specially designed workshops,” he said.
“The other path is lectures and workshops attended by the public in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah,” he added.
“Others who wish to participate in the charter can give us their suggestions via our website, and their suggestions will be reviewed by a special committee,” Al-Shamlani said.
“We’ll compile the proposals and redraft them as a nucleus of laws of regulation to be proposed to official legislative bodies.”
Academics and consultants formulated the themes addressed in the workshops. Majed Al-Ghamedi, a media researcher who presented a workshop titled “Media and values,” told Arab News: “Ethical media charters aren’t usually followed around the world. They’re principles that society should be aware of, unless they become laws and regulations that control the media landscape.
He said: “However, there are certain areas that can’t be governed by laws, but only by one’s conscience.”
He added: “The content I presented discussed addiction to using social networks, and values that should control online content, which should be either positive and valuable, or safe entertainment that doesn’t cause any harm at the social or personal level.”
Whoever signs the charter will be expected to accept its conditions, standards and controls, and promote its vision in creating valuable and positive online content. The charter will be officially launched at the New Media Award Ceremony on Dec. 28.