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DUBAI: This month, Twitter MENA launched a new Arabic hashtag that translates to #TwitterSafetyCampaign as part of its activities to mark Safer Internet Day on February 8.

The campaign is an extension of the platform’s safety campaign in the Middle East and North Africa, which began in 2019 with the aim of enabling and empowering users to identify and report spam.

“Through this MENA safety campaign, our priority is to ensure the community is aware of available solutions that will encourage a better experience for everyone on Twitter,” said George Salama, Director of Public Policy and Relations for Twitter MENA. News.

The new campaign includes several videos highlighting security features to inform users about the tools available on the platform to ensure a safer experience. Twitter has also introduced a new world cradling hands emoji, triggered by the #SaferInternetDay hashtag.

The campaign also included a Spaces chat session with speakers from a variety of backgrounds who spoke about ways to combat disruptive behavior online, first-hand experiences from public figures, and information about Twitter’s efforts to combat abuse. , misinformation and spam.

The session was moderated by radio host Dalal Al-Mhamad and guests included Salama; Abdullah Alsabeh, technology expert and influencer; Lujain Daghstani, quality of life advisor and social activist; and Nermine El-Saadany; the Internet Society Middle East Regional Vice President.

“The internet has revolutionized the way we live,” El-Saadany told Arab News. “However, it still remains a kind of ‘wild west’ in that anonymity can cause people to act differently than in the real world.

“It is therefore crucial that we work together, as a community, to discourage harmful behavior and encourage positive change instead.”

The Twitter campaign has garnered support from celebrities and influencers such as actress and singer Rana Samaha, squash player Nour El-Sherbini and tech influencers Mohamed Hadaidi and Saad Al-Dhawi.

It has also been endorsed by Dubai Police and non-profit organizations including the Internet Society Middle East; SMEX, which defends the digital rights of people and communities in the MENA region; and 7amleh, which defends digital rights in Palestine.

“We’ve made significant progress in our efforts to promote healthy conversations and deliver authoritative information on Twitter,” Salama said. “We are committed to working with our partners in technology, government and civil society to continue this work to help build a safer Internet.”

According to Twitter’s most recent statistics, the platform deleted 4.7 million tweets that violated its rules between January 1 and June 30, 2021. It also permanently suspended 453,754 accounts for violating its sexual exploitation policy. children and 44,974 for promoting terrorism and violent organizations. .

“We have clear policies in place on abusive behavior, hateful behavior and violent threats on the service,” Salama added. “This work is constantly evolving as new challenges emerge, and we recognize that we must work hard to stay ahead of those intent on undermining the public conversation.”


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