By Muhammad Aamir ABU DHABI, 12th December, 2016 (WAM) – H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, extended on Monday his sincere condolences to the Egyptian leadership, government and people on the innocent victims of the terrorist attack on Saint Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in the Abbasiya district in Cairo, saying this will only make the world and the people of Egypt even more strong and determined to fight terrorism.

Speaking during the Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament, which opened on Monday, Sheikh Saif stressed the importance of not allowing the terrorists organisations to take advantage of social media freedom to promote and disseminate their heinous thoughts. He called for intensifying government, private and international efforts to enhance security over the internet.

Sheikh Saif went on to praise the social networking website, Twitter, for shutting down 125,000 accounts linked to the terrorist organisation Daesh, and thanked it for laying out safeguards to protect people from evil, adding that he hoped other social media platforms will follow suit.

The UAE minister spoke about the branches of government, especially the media, which he said acts as the fourth pillar of government. “We know how much the media has developed and the impact of media on the people, and on shaping future trends.”

There is a fifth branch of government, he continued, which “are the technological means of communications that have a deep impact upon us, a positive impact. I think this fifth branch of social media allows people to represent themselves.”

Citing studies, he said, there are 2.3 billion users of social media. “I do not think in any country you could hear the voices of 2.3 billion people. They include our children, colleagues, brothers, sisters, socialites, and government institutions. About 98 percent of people between the ages of 18-29 use social media. It means that the current generation are using these platforms.”

“But there are many challenges regarding opportunities with these social media platforms. Unfortunately, the forces of evil use these platforms,” Sheikh Saif said, citing perpetrators who committed atrocities in Cairo blast on the birthday of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). He slammed the perpetrators who carried out this terrorist attack against those who went to church to be with their Creator.

“There is no doubt that social media has entered our homes,” Sheikh Saif said, while advocating for regulating the social media in a way that protects people’s liberties.