A few weeks back we told you that flipping the bird at someone could land you in prison in the United Arab Emirates as it is considered both rude and illegal. The middle finger emoji was among 250 new emoji characters that the Unicode Consortium had included in the standard emoji listing in 2014 and is expected to be included in the upcoming Windows 10.
The same law was set to be extended to the internet world with the middle finger emoji. According to legal experts in Dubai, sending a middle finger emoji on a smartphone or even sending a middle finger picture could either lead to a jail term of upto three years or a fine of up to $136,000.
Under a new federal law governing internet users, persons in the UAE found swearing at others online could be fined up to AED 250,000 (40,000 euros) while expatriates may be deported. The new law is a result of a precedent set by the Federal Supreme Court which overturned two lower court sentences fining a man AED 3,000 after he was convicted of swearing at another on WhatsApp. A prosecutor then argued at the Supreme court that the sentence was too lenient and failed to uphold new 0nline laws governing information technology crimes that included a penalty of AED 250,000 or imprisonment for persons involved in online offenses.
With the UAE’s Dubai and Abu Dhabi city states being popular tourist destinations and playing host to a considerable expatriate population, this could mean a lot since many a times we say things recklessly on Whatsapp and get away with them. Careful with the emojis and swearing when touring the UAE; they might just land you in serious trouble.