Working in Qatar and Active on Social Media? Beware of these policies!
Are you working in Qatar and have been using any social media platforms? Be careful of what you post online.
Did you know that the country has imposed policies on the use of social networks for its residents and citizens, particularly employees in all sectors.
You can be in trouble if you post anything online during your duty hours. Qatar Law stipulates that personal use of social media should be done at your personal time.
If you think it is perfectly fine to share your colleagues’ contact details without their permission, think again. Posting pictures of colleagues and sharing their personal information without their consent is unlawful in Qatar.
Therefore, if you don’t want to be penalized for the above mentioned violations and avoid any issues, read on to know the general guidelines for employee engagement with social media provided by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology here.
Note: These guidelines will evolve as technology continues to make possible new ways for social networking.
Personal Use of Social Media
If you are an employee in Qatar and you are using social media in personal capacity, you should be mindful of the following:
• You should never disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to your employer or any third party (e.g. companies, individuals and other government agencies) that has disclosed information to the Agency in confidence.
• You should never comment on anything related to legal or commercial matters such as regulatory matters, the status of tenders and employment contracts.
• Your existing employment contract should also be prohibiting this.
• You should keep in mind that what they publish will be widely accessible. For example, your supervisor and colleagues may come across what is being communicated online through their own use of social media. So, you should think about what they are saying and be responsible.
• If you identify yourself as an employee of the Agency, you should make it clear that the views expressed are yours alone and should not use the Agency’s logo or other means that may cause the audience to believe that you are representing the Agency’s views. You may use the following declaration as an example: The views expressed on this (e.g. blog; website...) are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of...
• You should not infringe on the privacy rights of colleagues, such as by posting pictures of colleagues or giving out your contact details without their permission.
• Personal use of social media should be done at your personal time.
Want to know more about Qatar Labour Law? A job consultancy in Qatar can guide you through the recruitment process and knowing your legal rights as an employee.
Professional use of Social Media on behalf of the Agency
When it comes to using social media professionally (e.g. as part of the Agency’s awareness campaign, interactive on-line discussions with external peers and contacts, or when representing the Agency in particular on-line forums), these basic guidelines should be followed:
• You should disclose who you are and your role at the Agency.
• You should not pretend to be someone you are not.
• You should try and understand the culture of the online communities you communicate with so as to interact effectively.
• You should protect your own privacy and respect the privacy and contact preferences of others.
• You should write about what you know and your areas of expertise.
• If you are not an expert on a particular topic that comes up for discussion, you should make this clear to others.
• You can also suggest how to get in touch with someone else in the Agency who has expertise in a given topic area if appropriate and after the proposed expert’s permission.
• You should not comment on any matter which may have legal or commercial implications for any third party.
• Where practicable, links to the Agency’s website should be provided so that individuals and on-line communities have access to official statements, documents and initiatives.
• You should engage in healthy debate and not use social media to criticize or denigrate colleagues or individuals, agencies and companies that the Agency employs and/or collaborates with.
• When disagreeing with others’ opinions, you should keep it appropriate and polite. They should choose words wisely and be careful and considerate.
• You should be accountable by quickly and clearly correcting any mistakes you may make in presenting information related to the Agency’s work and initiatives. For example, if you choose to modify an earlier post to a blog, readers should clearly be informed that you have done so.
• You should take a few minutes to think about what you are going to say before actually saying it.
• You may also want to consult your manager if you are unsure on how to respond to a particular issue that is being discussed.
• You are the author, and responsible for anything that is published, so you should use good judgment.
• You should not create additional social media accounts of the Agency. All official social media accounts should be created and administered by the e-Participation Leader or the personnel assigned with the responsibilities of online communications in the Agency.
• Departments in the Agency seeking to market their activities in social media or who want to start a blog/create pages/accounts should channel it through the e-Participation Leader.
• If you come across social media comments regarding Department level programs or the Agency in general, you should keep the e-Participation Leader informed.
If you are currently working in Qatar, you must adhere to the country’s policies including the responsible use of social media. If you are still looking for jobs in Doha, a staffing recruitment in Qatar can help you get hired and give you an idea on the Labor Law.
What is e-Participation
e-Participation is an important index in major global e-Government rankings such as UN-e-Government Survey and WEF-Global IT Report (GITR).
The objective of e-Participation is to engage people in development policy and decision-making processes through use of information and communication technologies.
Use of electronic means and online communication channels for people-government communication offers ease of use, convenience of time and location, transparency and people’s trust, and reduction in governance cost.
Therefore, governments internationally and regionally are adopting such means and communication channels to encourage people’s participation in governance, which has aptly grown to be known as e-Participation.
What is ictQATAR
One of the objectives of ictQATAR is to improve e-Participation between government agencies and the citizens, residents and communities ofQatar (hereinafter collectively referred to as “people”).
Qatar currently ranks 45th in the UN e-Participation Index 2014. As per findings of a UN e-Government Assessment Mission conducted in 2011, the culture of e-Participation is still lacking in many institutions and people in Qatar. This is where ictQATAR comes in to sort this issue.
So, before you post anything on the Internet, think twice. Be aware of the policies so you will not be charged with penalties from improper use of social media.
B2C Solutions is one of the leading recruitment agencies in Qatar that can support you in learning the employment policies in the country.