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Police issues warning for social media users

Don’t use social media as a platform to abuse, threaten, blackmail or insult a person or spread hate messages to settle scores as it might land you in a legal soup and invite a hefty fine, the Dubai Police have warned.

Major General Khalil Ibrahim al-Mansouri, assistant commander-in-chief of the Dubai Police for Criminal Investigation, said that people think that issuing abusive or defamatory comment is not a crime, however, they need to be cautious about what they post as it could cause legal trouble for them.

He said some teenagers often use words that are objectionable while going ballistic against someone. They need to show restraint and remove any comment or picture that could be punishable by law, the police chief added.

Maj-Gen Al-Mansouri said that some people exploit social media platforms to retaliate against the other party by publishing offensive posts or photos to defame them or tarnish their image.

He cautioned that publishing personal details and movements on social media could also encourage criminals to track their accounts and lead to thefts.

People charged with cybercrime – particularly those issuing insults and threats online – may not necessarily face imprisonment and deportation under the amended cyber crimes law. However, the court may rule to place the accused under an “electronic probation and monitoring”, and prevent him from using virtual platforms during a period as prescribed under the law.

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