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Sun 30 Nov 2014 01:21 PM

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Saudi Arabia 'needs centre to counter lies, rumours'

University educators call for the kingdom to create a centre specifically to identify those deemed to be spreading negative information

Saudi Arabia 'needs centre to counter lies, rumours'

The Saudi government should establish a centre specifically to identify and counter lies and rumours in the kingdom, a university conference has recommended, according to Arab News.

Delegates claimed there was an increasing number of lies generated by local and international groups as well as individuals. They also called for those responsible to be prosecuted and said the media should be more responsible in ensuring they do not publish wrong information.

Director of King Khaled University, which hosted the conference, Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Daoud, said rumours had become an increasing problem in the kingdom and abroad and false information had caused problems for several countries.

The advent of social media has made it easier for anyone to disseminate information, leading many countries, including some in the Gulf, to crackdown on the use of sites such as Twitter and YouTube.

Dozens of people have been prosecuted, and often jailed, for posting comments that are deemed to be offensive to their rulers or the state.

In the most recent reported case, a UAE court last week sentenced a man to jail for “defaming” the country in a post on Twitter and for belonging to a secret organisation.