A number of influencers’ discussed on Thursday the impact of social media on society, and the pros and cons of the media, during the Qatar Social Forum held at the end of the symposium season at Qatar University. They called for self-monitoring before publishing any information or opinion on social media, in addition to monitoring their children so that their minds are not disturbed and they are drawn to a different trend from the way they were raised.

A number of media professionals and social media pioneers in Qatar participated in the event, including Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Harami, Ministry of Culture media expert Jaber Nasser al-Marri, poet Abdullah al-Anzi, poet Abdul Rahman Saud al-Hajri, media personality Iman al-Kaabi, Qatar Radio’s social media officer, and media director Hassan al-Saai.

For his part, Mr. Abdullah Al-Anzi said that our biggest problem is steering away from our sons. If we do not bring them closer to our councils, they will be subject to intellectual targeting by others.

He also addressed the impact of social media on society and the importance of social responsibility discipline and regulatory laws.

Jaber al-Marri: You should not follow “trends” blindly.

Journalist Jaber Bin Nasser Al-Marri, a media expert at the Ministry of Culture, addressed the role of the community responsibility of social media pioneers in disseminating information that benefits society and shuns rumors. He emphasized the need for media users to demonstrate social ethics and emotional consistency, and to verify information through direct communication with public relations in the relevant authorities.

He explained that traditional media have regulations for their work, while the media message has become open with the social media, and that there are no regulations for everyone working in this field, as we see an acceleration in commenting on events, demanding that everyone wait until society is preserved.

He said that social media currently has the appearance of “intransigence”, which equates newspaper headlines or news bulletins with traditional media outlets. He called for a lack of awareness of the need to avoid turning the media into a weapon that alienates citizens from their country.

Dr. Abdul Rahman al-Harami: Children leaving social media to influence beliefs

Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Harmi said, “In the era of globalization, we cannot be isolated from the world as a result of the huge technological development that has taken place in every home, which requires the positive employment of these electronic devices.” He confirmed that we all have a religious, social, and moral responsibility to use these devices, which carry a wealth of information, but at the same time, they are a ticking time bomb from which we must be careful.

Al-Harmi added that the problem is not the use of the electronic device itself, but rather the use of the device, which puts us in front of a challenge that we cannot escape through encryption or prevention, but through the guidance of minds, hearts and ideas. He warned of the negative impact of neglecting children and leaving them prey to devices and social media, so that this does not affect their religious belief, family affiliation and national identity.

Abdul-Rahman Saud: Disagreement is accepted without offense

Poet Abdul Rahman Saud Al-Hajri spoke about the fact that some Twitter users have been subjected to bullying, and that ignoring it is the best thing to do, adding that those who tweet should get news from official sources.

Saud said there is potential for diversity and differences of opinion, but without personal offense. He stressed the importance of constructive criticism and its acceptance.

Iman al-Kaabi: Parents’ role to prevent confusion on children’s minds

Journalist Iman Al-Kaabi said that what she finds on social media makes her truly afraid for her children and the need to know who they are following and what messages they get through social media. She also treats them as friends, rather than as their mother, and participates in many things, as well as in some of the clips, theses and general issues inside or outside Qatar.

“As parents, we see what is going on around us, what are the goals of the West, and their attempts to confuse our children’s minds and take them in a totally different direction from what they were raised on, and what we are keen to instill in them,” al-Kaabi said. “Therefore, our responsibility is great, even in choosing followers, given that some celebrities have come out against our will, and events are proceeding against our will.

Iman al-Kaabi said she is against prohibition because it could cause a bigger problem that would force children to do what they want without the knowledge of parents. This is because the social media world is a very wide sea, and we either swim and reach safety or sink, and the consequences are dire. She added, “If we prepared a study in each country, we would find that it has a stronger platform than another, but every tweet is not a tweet. Perhaps some people get angry at my words, but lately Twitter has become like a chat, and some people have started to publish details of their lives and their daily activities via Twitter. The role of Twitter has changed, after it was a platform for elites to raise political and social issues, in addition to some issues related to ministries and government agencies in the country, but now things are different.

Mubarak Al-Khayareen: Hastening to Tweet Without Dangerous Audit

Mubarak described the two options, the “Twitter” platform as a large area for recycling, and that despite the fact that it is, what is being discussed, is a discussion of events, away from ideas, describing it as very problematic.

Al-Khayarin said that as he entered the realm of “Twitter”, he set his goal to avoid arguments and unhelpful discussions, which cause hostility, whether through misunderstanding or through inciting confusion, since one is accountable for the word. He was keen to keep up with the government’s development policy in the state, and to provide everything that benefits the people.

Al-Khayarin warned of the danger of hastening the writing of tweets without scrutinizing and complying with the credibility of the information.