Social media can be a wonderful way of keeping up-to-date with friends and family all over the world. But, we’ve all heard the stories of what happens when the platforms are used wrongly. There are laws of social media use in the UAE and breaking them could land you with a fine - and even jail time. To ensure that you stay within the rules and regulations, here is what NOT to do online.
1. Do not post images or videos of other people without their consent
Posting pictures of others without their permission is a serious offence in the UAE. The Cyber Crimes Law states that doing so will lead to the perpetrator being imprisoned for at least 6 months as well as receiving a fine of Dhs 150,000.
2. Do not discuss other people’s private lives online
Sharing personal information about other people, as well as posting about a company or an employer is against the law. Breaching this will result in temporary imprisonment and a fine of between Dhs 250,000 and Dhs 1.5 million.
3. Do not spread rumours or gossip
Posting negative, abusive or gossipy content can lead to law-related punishments. Hate messages or any content that can be seen as bullying, defamation or hurtful to a person, company, business or business owner could land you in jail for six months with a fine of Dhs 250,000. Mentioning a person or company by name in a negative light is also prohibited.
4. Do not impersonate another person or company
Impersonation of another person, business or company is punishable by law and will result in imprisonment.
5. Do not use prohibited websites or online channels
Using Skype or other voice and video chat platforms is illegal unless you use Etisalat’s online calling services. Visiting streaming websites, adult-content websites, gambling websites are a huge no-no and lawbreakers are subject to at least 1 year of imprisonment and a fine of Dhs 250,000 minimum. Using websites or programs (VPNs) to bypass blocked content is also prohibited.
6. Do not post content depicting illegal activity
This may seem fairly obvious but images depicting nudity, adult content and alcohol consumption are harmful to the UAE’s Islamic values. Those who do so will face imprisonment and a fine of up to Dhs 500,000.
7. Do not slander or insult the UAE, Islam or its Royal Family
Any content which is offensive to the UAE, its rulers and members of the Royal Family and Islam is punishable by law. Do not do it.