Monitor children on social media, Royal Oman Police tells parents

Energy Sunday 17/January/2016 22:42 PM
By: Times News Service
Monitor children on social media, Royal Oman Police tells parents

Muscat: A warning has been sent to the public by the Royal Oman Police (ROP), urging parents to monitor their children’s activities on social media.
Last year, the ROP received “many complaints” of exploitation of Omani youths using social media, an ROP official told the Times of Oman.
On its official Twitter account, the ROP tweeted: “Dear parents: Pay attention to your children! Be aware of their exploitation through any social media channels.”
“We have a major problem. Some girls like to approach young men, send them pictures, and engage in illegal activities. This is a crime which threatens the morale and integrity of society”, the official said. Rumaitha Al Busaidi, an Omani blogger and radio presenter,earlier told the Times of Oman that online stalking is “quite a big issue” and “not only targeted against women”.
Commenting on parental supervision of children, Al Busaidi said that parents should not ‘police’ children, but educate them about values.
Further, Hashar Al Mandhari, chief executive officer of Alamah Marketing, said parents should educate their children about using social media platforms.
“Parents should not close the doors. If you close a door, they will break it. You should open the door and show them the right path”, Al Mandhari remarked. Also, by imposing guidelines, groups on social media platforms can block stalkers. Nicholla Henderson-Hall, founder of a Facebook group and a social media coach, said she responds to complaints from female users who are receiving friend requests from strange men, or rude and inappropriate messages.
“Any person who is found harassing or bullying others, or posting inappropriate messages, will be removed from a group”, she said.
Meanwhile, the ROP official said that during 2014 and 2015 many complaints were received by the ROP, but in recent months complaints were “rarely reported”.
He added that despite increasing awareness by youths about social media among the public, the ROP sends out such messages to remind parents and the public.
“We fight against anyone who infiltrates your family life, takes your money or forces you into illegal activities through the Internet”, he said.
He noted that victims are sometimes afraid to report this crime, though the police are there to help.