KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

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A beautQ gadget is shown in this image shared on social media. (Twitter photo)
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media announced it has become aware of inaccurate and irresponsible accusations made by the Wimbledon Championships regarding piracy when broadcasting beoutQ.
Updated 08 July 2018

KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

  • Wimbledon should have checked first instead of parotting allegations emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” which are biased, says Saudi Media Ministry.
  • Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in KSA, the ministry urged sports associations to end their ties with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.

JEDDAH: Qatar was accused on Saturday of using world tennis authorities to pursue a smear campaign against Saudi Arabia. 

Riyadh denied allegations that a television channel illegally showing Wimbledon tennis matches is based in the Kingdom. 

A statement issued on the Wimbledon website called for the immediate closure of beoutQ for broadcasting tennis without the right to do so.

“Wimbledon’s press release baselessly claims that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia and suggests that Saudi Arabia is somehow complicit in beoutQ’s broadcasts,” Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media said.

It said Saudi Arabia had “relentlessly” combated beoutQ’s activities in the Kingdom, and restated its commitment to protecting intellectual property rights. “Wimbledon’s allegations parrot those emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” the ministry said. “Suggesting that Saudi Arabia is in any way complicit in beoutQ’s operation both offends the Saudi people and is a malicious lie. 

“Wimbledon and the various tennis associations know or should know that beginning in June 2017, the Saudi government banned all broadcasts by Al Jazeera and its affiliates because Al Jazeera is a media platform for terrorists to propagate their violent messages and to promote instability in the region.

“It used beIN Sports’s World Cup broadcasts to defame Saudi Arabia, the Saudi football federation, and national team. For these reasons Al Jazeera, beIN Sports and their affiliates will never again broadcast in Saudi Arabia.

“Given Al Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi territory, the ministry urges Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al Jazeera entities.”

The statement said "the government of Saudi Arabia is and will remain devoted to protecting IP rights within the country.” 

It noted that the Saudi Ministry of Commerce has seized thousands of set-top boxes that would otherwise be used to violate intellectual property (IP) in the country.

"While Al-Jazeera has repeatedly accused Arabsat (a quasi-governmental entity of the Arab League in Riyadh, established by 22 of its member states) of facilitating beoutQ’s transmissions, however, to date, Al-Jazeera has not provided any credible evidence that it has done so. To the contrary, Al-Jazeera has repeatedly pointed to the “unparalleled sophistication” with which beoutQ has easily overcome Al-Jazeera’s and beIN Sports’ state-of-the-art anti-piracy technology. Therefore, Wimbledon’s suggestion that Arabsat is facilitating or otherwise turning a blind eye to beoutQ’s operations is simply more Al-Jazeera propaganda," it said.

“We are disappointed that representatives of credible tennis associations are being used in the Wimbledon press release as mouthpieces by Al-Jazeera,” the statement added.

Al-Jazeera’s response to the ban has been to escalate a political campaign against Saudi Arabia. It has used beIN Sports’ 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcasts to defame the Kingdom, the Saudi Arabian football federation, and national team. 

Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi Arabian territory, the ministry urged Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.


Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos

Updated 22 October 2019

Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos

  • An employee at TikTok told AFP that about 10 accounts were removed for posting the videos
  • The videos featured corpses being paraded through streets and Daesh fighters with guns
BEIJING: Social media app TikTok has taken down accounts that were posting propaganda videos for the Daesh group, a company employee said Tuesday, in the latest scandal to hit the popular platform.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, claimed some 500 million users globally last year, making it one of the most popular social apps.

An employee at TikTok told AFP that about 10 accounts were removed for posting the videos.

“Only one of those videos even had views that reached into double digits before being taken down,” said the staffer, who declined to be named.

The videos featured corpses being paraded through streets and Daesh fighters with guns, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story on Monday.

The Journal said the posts were from about two dozen accounts, which were identified by social media intelligence company Storyful.

“Content promoting terrorist organizations have absolutely no place on TikTok,” the company said in a statement emailed to AFP.

“We permanently ban any such accounts and associated devices as soon as identified, and we continuously develop ever-stronger controls to proactively detect suspicious activity,” it said.

Daesh's self-declared “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria fell in March, but the group remains active in several countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as still inspiring jihadists through an online presence.

The TikTok platform, which allows users to create and share videos of 15 seconds, is particularly popular with teenagers.

“Unlike other platforms, which are centered around users’ friends or communities, TikTok is based on engaging with a never-ending stream of new content,” said Darren Davidson, the editor-in-chief of Storyful.

“The Daesh postings violate TikTok’s policies, but the sheer volume of content makes it difficult for TikTok to police their platform and root out these videos,” he said.

The app has been marred by controversy in recent months. In April, TikTok was briefly banned by an Indian court over claims it was promoting pornography among children.

The app is banned in neighboring Bangladesh and was hit with an enormous fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children.

The company has refuted the allegations, saying they abide by local privacy laws.

ByteDance has a version of TikTok in China called Douyin.