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Queen Rania participates in Arab Social Media Influencers Summit in Dubai


[12/10/2018 2:02:18 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah was awarded the Influential Personality of the Year Award by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler of Dubai, at the third annual Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS) in Dubai on Monday.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who was also present, the summit brought together over a thousand social media influencers and other stakeholders from across the region and the world. It was also attended by several high profile guests including Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In her keynote speech, Queen Rania called on social media influencers to use their time and clout in seeking out the truth and serving humanity, explaining that it is easy for misinformation to gain popularity and reach online, whereas the truth struggles for exposure despite its accessibility.

She said "the truth is losing ground to emotional rhetoric and sensational rumors," referencing MIT research indicating that fake news on Twitter is 70% more likely to be retweeted than the truth.

Warning against faulting online platforms for the spread of falsehoods and distorted information, she asked, "do we blame these technologies and exonerate ourselves – as users and influencers?"

"We owe it to the truth to seek it out and distribute it. It might not be the most appealing or fascinating but not all that glitters is gold. Let us aim to give truth the final word," she added.

In her remarks, Her Majesty detailed her journey through social media, sharing her experiences and what she has learned and hoped for since entering the social media space. She also admitted that, "despite being one of this space’s chief advocates," she has at times "wished it didn’t exist due to its negativity."

"We hoped that social media would change our status quo, but the solutions must come from us, and change must start from within," she explained.

Referring to images depicting pain and suffering shared on social media, Her Majesty underscored the crucial role of social networks in enacting tangible and positive change and motivating proactive campaigns.

"Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but a share and a like are no substitute for action. Over the years, we have seen many succeed in garnering support for humanitarian causes through social media, and changing the lives of many," the Queen said.

Acknowledging that likeability can play a role in attracting followers, Her Majesty said that making a real difference in the world is dependent on acting in accordance with our values.

"We all seek the approval of others, but sometimes our values require us to march to a different beat, even if that comes at the expense of our popularity."

She added that even if "fame and figures are proof of reach, real influence is the product of actions spurred by our conscience."

Listing the gains that social media and the internet have brought, the Queen reflected on how "social media has achieved much of what we had expected from it." However, she also underlined that these platforms have in many cases been limited by mental barriers instead of being used for constructive communication based on a desire to engage in positive discourse.

"We still managed to transfer our barriers to this world. We now listen not to communicate, but to respond, closing ranks and isolating ourselves among those who resemble us and confirm our own convictions," the Queen stated.

Her Majesty called on social media influencers to use their time and popularity on social media to "break barriers and open communication channels to impact people and rally support for those who need it most," and "to champion the truth and communicate through values."

"Be kind to others," she concluded, "because the simplest expression of our humanity is a kind word."

Organized by the Dubai Press Club (DPC), and first held in 2015, the summit aims to highlight successful social media experiences and encourage Arab youth to produce creative content and share futuristic ideas. In its third edition, the summit brought together 70 speakers from 25 countries.

The Queen also attended the summit’s main discussion session. President of the DPC and Chairperson of the ASMIS Organizing Committee, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, gave the opening remarks, stating that the summit aims to employ social media in the service of regional communities, and to enable them to confront current and potential challenges.

At this session, the King of Bahrain’s Representative for Charity Work and Youth Affairs, His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, also addressed the importance of humanitarian and charitable work.

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