You are here

Jordan devising Arab social media strategy — Shboul

Jordan market’s spending on social media totalled JD81 million in 2022, says Shboul

By Mays Ibrahim Mustafa - Mar 19,2023 - Last updated at Mar 19,2023

Minister of Government Communications Faisal Shboul meets with journalists and editors-in-chief representing a number of local media outlets in Amman on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Jordan is working with other Arab countries to prepare a strategy to regulate social media to protect users from harmful and illegal content, according to Minister of Government Communications Faisal Shboul.

The Kingdom was officially tasked with preparing the strategy during the 52nd session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers held in Cairo, Egypt, last September,  the minister said. 

The strategy involves a guiding draft law that aims to help organise Arab countries’ relationship with social media platforms and protect users from harmful and illegal content in addition to regulating digital streaming platforms and digital taxation, Shboul said during a meeting with journalists and editors-in-chief representing a number of local media outlets. 

The law, which applies to social media platforms with a number of users equal to or exceeding 500,000, aims to counter false and misleading news, pornographic and sexually exploitative content as well as hate speech, including any content perpetuating prejudice and negative propaganda against Arabs and Muslims, he added. 

Social media platforms are required to provide clear and easy channels for users to report illegal and harmful content, which is to be removed or blocked within 24 hours after a complaint is submitted, the minister noted. 

Social media platforms are also obliged to cooperate with authorities in cases of security or health disasters and to not use any algorithms that contribute to blocking or limiting the spread of content that supports the Palestinian cause, he continued. 

The strategy also involves adopting “common work mechanisms” to secure financial compensation from international media companies, social media and digital content platforms as well as search engines for local media outlets to make up for the “lost profit from digital advertisements and subscriptions” and ensure their sustainability.

The strategy was approved by the Executive Office of the Council of Arab Information Ministers during the meeting of its 16th ordinary session on March 15, according to Shboul. 

He noted that the strategy will be presented during the upcoming session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers. 

Following its adoption, an Arab technical team will be formed to communicate with social media platforms to negotiate the implementation of this strategy and proceed with enacting the needed national legislations to regulate social media in the Arab world, he added. 

The Jordanian market’s spending on social media, which totalled JD81 million in 2022, is “an extremely large sum of money that went directly to social media platforms; neither local media outlets nor the government benefited from this revenue which isn’t subject to taxes”, the minister noted.

The minister also pointed out that there are 175 million social media users in the Arab world, who account for a “large bargaining power” to ensure the implementation of this strategy, which draws from the European experience in organising member countries’ relationship with social media.

up
30 users have voted.


Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.

PDF