“Your life is on a display” and most of us like it that way, don’t we? With the rolling ball of SOCIAL MEDIA IN UAE, new trends and the agenda of getting more likes and views on social media network, we often tend to ignore how a small comment, a post or a video can impact the sentiment of a person or a society at large.
It is a common trend to maintain a judgment about a person by the kind of posts a person sends out in social media and says a lot about his personality. But it can also say a lot about the number of years one can spend behind bars for posting any hateful comment or a negative video, especially in UAE.
The cybercrime laws of UAE consider any insulting comment, photos or any particular information that breaches the privacy of another individual as an illegal activity and is frowned upon. UAE has strict policy against cybercrimes as it tends to have a severe and wide impact on the public’s sentiment, thereby making UAE a safe space for its residents and tourists. The laws attempt to prevent online trolling, cyberbullying, phishing and any negative or hateful posts against an individual or society, especially because social media platforms pose a high risk to matters regarding defamation as information through social media travels faster than usual and can be shared with millions in flip second.
There have been dozens of cases, where individuals were levied hefty fines for sharing inappropriate posts on social media platform by UAE Court authorities. For instance, a school teach in Abu Dhabi was recently criticized by Abu Dhabi courts, upon receiving complaints from the students and their parents. In another scenario, the courts of Ras Al Khaimah obliged an individual to pay fine for using abusive language through social media network.
The Law and its Penalties
With the simple agenda to prevent online defamation and cyberbullying, UAE issued a Federal Decree law number 5 of 2012 on Cyber Crimes and its Amendments. The Law explicitly impose a fine of AED 25,000 minimum to a maximum of AED 500,000 on anyone who commits the act of slander or insults a third party by using an Information network or information Technology Tool.
Importantly, defamation is considered as a serious offence and a core element towards cybercrime and is further considered as a crime under Cybercrime Law, which is also reflected under Federal Law 3 of 2987, the UAE Penal Code under Article 372 resulting in an imprisonment of a term not exceeding two years and a fine not exceeding AED 20,000. However, it is pertinent to note that if such defamation or slander is through social media platform, the fine imposed will be way higher than what is mentioned in the Penal Code.
What if you are Facing Cyberbullying?
In case you are trapped in a situation where someone is harassing you online, it is paramount to take adequate steps and complaint about that individual or the ID through which he is making such negative comments, by simply registering a complaint to the police either online or in person. It is advised to all our readers to keep track and collect evidence of cyberbullying and timely report such incidents to prevent harassment and the crime to happen in future. In case, you wish to sue the other individual for the damages you have suffered due to such slander or defamation, you may reach out to SOCIAL MEDIA IN UAE, to get appropriate compensation for the loss you have suffered or the mental trauma you have faced.