The Middle Finger Emoji Could Land You in Jail in the UAE


If you’re planning a holiday in Dubai this summer—or any other part of the United Arab Emirates—you might want to avoid swearing while using your phone.


Under a newly passed Cyber Crime Law, UAE natives could face fines up to $68,000 (AED250,000) for swearing or insulting someone through messaging apps, social media and email. Disobeying the law could land locals in jail, while expatriates and holiday-goers could face deportation.

This came to light when the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi ordered a retrial of a man convicted of swearing at a colleague over WhatsApp after the $817 (AED3,000) imposed fine was deemed too lenient. Prosecutors appealed the verdict, demanding the court increase the fine up to $68,000 or face jail.

The defendant was prosecuted after the claimant presented his mobile phone to prove he had been sent „insulting words“ through WhatsApp, although the exact terms were not revealed in court documents, according to UAE’s English-language tabloid 7Days.

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