Using Banned Words on Whatsapp can land you in jail

In the message sent he allegedly called her “idiot” (habla in Arabic). - Sakshi Post

A man was sentenced to 60 days of imprisonment and fined 20,000 dirhams (around Rs 4 lakh) for calling his fiancée an "idiot" in a WhatsApp message.

According to reports, the GCC national had sent the woman he was going to marry a message on WhatsApp, which he claimed was a joke. In the message sent he allegedly called her "idiot" (habla in Arabic).

However, he asserted that he had used the word in lighter note and that she took it as an insult and filed a case against him in the court. There are many other cases waiting in the court, with same premise of a person sending a message on WhatsApp as a joke, which the other person took seriously.

Under the law, sending anything of offensive nature through social media is considered a cybercrime. Senders might be jailed and fined upto Dh250,000 up to Dh1 million.

A Legal consultant said that any content sent on social media or messaging services can be held in the court for prosecution under the cybercrimes law. This law applies to messages sent with a purpose or by “accident”, he said.

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