Arabs urged to use social media to fight extremism
RIYADH - Agence France-Presse
A Saudi man browses through Twitter in this photo. Arab interior ministers were advised to confront the spread of extremism through social media networks with their own cyber knowhow. AFP photoArab interior ministers were advised to confront the spread of extremism through social media networks with their own cyber knowhow, as they gathered for a security meeting in Riyadh yesterday.
Mohammed Kuman, head of the council of Arab interior ministers, said that “extremist thought... on social networks has resulted in a major increase in terrorist acts, political assassinations and sectarian conflicts.” “As it has become impossible to control the content of social networks, it is important to produce counter-speech,” he said. “Ideas can only be fought by ideas,” the Saudi official said in an opening speech at the meeting.
Al-Qaeda and its regional offshoots often use jihadist Internet forums to post statements claiming responsibility for terror attacks, and to communicate with followers. Kuman said such extremism could also be tackled through programs to rehabilitate al-Qaeda militants who have either turned themselves in or were arrested.
Since 2010, the Arab world has been rocked by a wave of popular uprisings sparked by protests that were organized on websites like Facebook and Twitter.