The emergence of the internet is one of the good things technology has produced for us. It makes it easier for us to communicate with family and friends back home as well as expressing ourselves. It is important though, that since we are in a Gulf region, we should be aware that there are certain rules and laws when posting on social media and online. It’s not like other countries where we have freedom of speech and we can just say whatever we want and not have any consequences. Here we list some important rules in terms of publishing content online.
Because of the internet and the advancement of technology, we have now the so-called social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn where profiles and photos of people are being shared to socialize and communicate.
Posting Irresponsibly Online Can Lead to Penalties and Fines in Qatar
If you are currently living or planning to go to Qatar, here’s a list of things that you should know about their laws on social media.
- Spreading false news is a crime.
Yes, you read it right. You can’t just bluff via social media in Qatar. People who are caught sharing false information about safety, international peace, and public order will face up to 3 years in prison or pay a fine of up to 500,000 Riyals. To avoid getting arrested, be sure to share only facts.
- No to pornography.
Qatar implements this law by disallowing its citizens to produce child pornographic materials. A jail time of up to 5 years and 500,000 Riyals fine await those people who are caught breaking this law.
- Posting/taking other people’s photos and private information is illegal.
If there is someone in the internet you find interesting, getting their consent to post their photos and/or information wouldn’t hurt, plus it saves you from spending 3 years in jail and paying 100,000 Riyals as a fine. Before you share anyone else’s private life, you must let them know.
- Cyber-bullying via social media is a crime.
A fine of 100,000 Riyals and up to 3 years in prison will be given to those people who blackmail, bully, or threaten someone via the internet. Do not use the internet to hurt people, be nice.
- Hurting religious sentiments online is not allowed.
It is under the Qatar Penal Code that hurting religious sentiments online can get someone face up to 10 years in prison and be fined up to 10,000 Riyals. Be sure to talk nicely online to avoid breaking this law.
The internet has brought us access to different types of data, channels for communication and other stuff that are helpful to different aspects of our lives.
Some of the rules above are obviously illegal without the need for further explanation. But given how the Islamic culture is in certain Arab regions, it is very important that we practice these rules and obey the laws.
These social media platforms are indeed a big help. However, there ate certain restrictions with their uses that we should be aware of. For instance, some places in the world have the freedom to download and use any type of social media applications while in some places, these are banned. Acknowledging the laws and regulations might be the best way for us to use them right, especially if we are traveling or living abroad.