TRA on social media: Look who’s finally coming around
Kipp’s amused to see the TRA, who had real reservations of social media usage in the UAE, do a 180-degree turn on its policy.
May 29, 2011 3:38 by Eva Fernandes
Kipp’s ranted and raved about our frustrations with people jumping on the social media bandwagon. You know what we are talking about, “social media is the future and everyone must get on Twitter asap” kind of spiel. But when we read of one of UAE’s most trusty and old institutions touting social media like it’s the freshest thing on the market, we couldn’t help but silently, well not so silently now, chuckle to ourselves.
We are talking of the TRA, who have launched its own social media campaign in the beginning of this year, no less four years too late. TRA chief, Mohammad Nasser Al Ganem for his part said “Social media can be defined as an established and evolving channel that needs to be part of overall communications and capacity-building strategies. (…) It is a key component for companies because it provides them with greater opportunities to share more information about the important work they do, and it helps them in obtaining the required feedbacks.”
Thanks Al Ganem, how would we have ever figured that out without those helpful statements?
Yet, the reason why Kipp is so tickled by the TRA embracing social media so vociferously might have something to do with its not-so-friendly track record with the platform a few years back. Take for instance, this report http://126.96.36.199/wp-admin/post-new.phpfrom Arabian Business published early 2008, which documented the TRA’s planned Internet Penetration Policy which would see “sections of social networking websites including Facebook and Myspace, which encouraged dating would be banned under the new policy.”
Having been around in the UAE for quite a bit, it is extremely amusing to see the TRA who frequently and sometimes arbitrarily blocks websites, VoIP and has reservations of social media, do a 180-degree turn on its policy. On a serious note, though, such a switch in approach is a rather progressive move—if only it meant that the TRA actually loosens its grip on the rest of the other issues (ie Skype, Blackberry, etc).