Dubai closes down 4,879 social media accounts, 30 websites

They were shut down for selling counterfeit products



Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has closed down 4,879 social media accounts and 30 websites for selling counterfeit products during the first half of this year, official news agency WAM reported.

DED’s Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection unit said that the closure came as part of efforts to protect trademark owners and “filter e-commerce in Dubai from negative phenomena”.

The accounts that were shut down had a total of 33.5 million followers.

Ibrahim Behzad, director of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection Management at DED, said that social media channels are among the “prominent methods” used by traders to deal in counterfeit goods.

Some of the common counterfeit products sold on social networking sites include bags, perfumes, watches, phone accessories and cosmetics, he said.

“However, the IPR team works for 24 hours to monitor social networking sites and digital platforms used for promoting and selling fake goods and counterfeit commodities,” he stated.

“The electronic IPR division has closed down websites that promote counterfeit goods in cooperation with a number of law firms and other trademark owners.”

If officials become aware of “stores or warehouses” in which the activity takes place, necessary procedures are immediately taken, he added.

Behzad also urged consumers not to heed to the “temptations of these channels, which promote counterfeit goods that negatively affect the rights of traders as well as the health and safety of consumers”.

He also called on the public to report any violators to the DED through their social media account.