Posted on August 13, 2016

There has been an increase in availability and uptake of social media apps by consumers in Qatar. While the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) encourages creation of appropriate digital content and use of technology, it also intends to create awareness among netizens to stay safe and vigilant when sharing and accessing multi-media, personal or promotional content.

This consumer alert would specifically like to alert users of apps such as SnapChat, Periscope, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. that provide audio, video and multimedia content that may be offensive, sensitive or entirely inappropriate culturally, for under age audiences, or for security of individuals and businesses. Consumers play an equally important part in helping CRA deliver its mandate for consumer protection by staying safe and cautious when using such apps. CRA would like to further advise and encourage users to keep the below guidelines in mind for safe use of social media apps.

Monitor App Usage by Minors: As an informed consumer, ensure minor children in your family or under your care are using age-appropriate apps. Several social media apps have minimum age requirements, you should encourage children around you to respect and abide by such requirements. When unavoidable, monitor and supervise children’s usage of apps that may display age inappropriate content. It is also advisable to use age restrictions in settings on smart devices that are used exclusively by children without adult supervision.

Download Official Apps: Where possible, use apps that are locally available to ensure content you are accessing or sharing is culturally appropriate. When in doubt, confirm with your service provider.

Report Inappropriate Content: If you come across any content that you feel is explicit or inappropriate culturally, report it to your service provider.

Protect Your Personal Data: Sharing your personal information, photos, location, and contacts, publically or with apps may result in undesirable outcomes. Always take precaution.

CRA, as the regulator for communications and postal sectors as well as access to digital media, continually works very closely with the relevant Government authorities, local service providers and other regulators in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to ensure netizens in Qatar have access to appropriate content and digital platforms. CRA takes its consumer protection mandate extremely seriously and will continue to bring such public awareness messages to you.