Social Media Blunders that can Land you in Legal Trouble in Qatar
Everyone knows that we are living in the age of social media unless someone’s been living under a rock or a remote place where technology may be perceived as magic. Social media sites today are the fastest, easiest and most convenient means of interacting with people online. A majority of the people in the world have an account on at least one of the social media sites as they have proved to be excellent tools of networking and communication.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are just the popular ones of the over 100 websites that connect people across the world, however, like everything there is a downside to this social media blitz as well. Sharing too much information on the social media is not advisable, although one can tweak the settings and choose what information remains visible to whom, but there still are things that one must not put out there on the social media web. Today, we bring you list of things that you must not post on social media in Qatar unless you want to land in trouble:
Rumours: Social media can be equated with a rumour mill on steroids. Given that a vast majority of people get their dose of daily news from the social media, it is perfect breeding space for rumour mongers as well. Before posting anything that could have any social ramifications, make sure it is not a rumour because if it is it can cause a lot of damage before people realise that it was just a rumour. Use social media responsibly, don’t contribute to anything that can have negative consequences for people around you.
Some photos: Anyone who is found to be guilty of circulating the photographs or videos of accident victims through any means and without any authorisation will be punished as per amendments introduced into the Law No. 11 of 2004.
Private information of people: Article 333 of the Qatar penal coded states, “whoever illegally intrudes into another person’s private life and without consent” through different means, including “taking or transmitting somebody’s photographs or pictures of other persons in a private place using any type of device, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year in prison and/or a fine not exceeding QR5,000.”
Libellous remarks: Article 331 of the penal code specifies, “whoever spreads news, photographs or comments related to a person’s private life, or that of his family, even if true, can be punished with a maximum jail term of one year and a fine of up to QR5,000, or either.”
Posting indecent content: Sending threatening or sexually suggestive or explicit messages to people via popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp can surely land you in trouble. Doing so can invite hefty fines and imprisonment up to 3 months under Article 330 or if prosecuted under the purview of the Law on combating electronic crimes, the imprisonment can be up to 1 year and a fine of QR100, 000.
Posting content that hurts religious sentiments: Hurting religious sentiments come under the Social Crimes chapter of the Qatari Penal Code and can invite fines of up to QR10, 000 and imprisonment up to 10 years according to the “Crimes Related to Religions and Violability of the Dead” chapter of the penal codemes, the imprisonment can be up to 1 year and a fine of QR100, 000.
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