Be careful what you say on social media…

It’s always wise to practice good social media etiquette, but in the UAE, it’s even more important. Why? Because what you tweet could put you on the wrong side of the country’s cyber crime laws.

One UAE expat was recently fined Dhs250,000 for tweeting comments about an Abu Dhabi woman that were deemed insulting and abusive, Khaleej Times reported.

The man had reportedly apologised to the woman after being summoned by the Department of Cybercrimes, and insisted he didn’t mean to insult her in his tweets.

However, the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance found the man’s tweets were defamatory, and undermined the woman’s reputation. The content of the tweets was not made public.

Last year we asked legal expert Abdullah Ishnaneh, partner at Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP, to explain the UAE’s cyber crime laws.

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He said: “The UAE Federal Law on Combating Cyber Crimes is relatively new and contains severe punishments. In addition to imprisonment and hefty fines, anyone found guilty of committing any of the crimes listed in the law also faces deportation.

“Article 20 states that slander, using abusive language, or insulting another person or entity using a computer network or any information technology means is a punishable crime. In addition, the Court of Cassation recently found that WhatsApp falls within the definition of ‘information technology’.

“With a punishment of imprisonment and a fine of up to Dhs500,000, it is best to avoid any sort of negative or insulting comments on all social media platforms, emails and WhatsApp.”

Think before you tweet, people…

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