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Saudi society warns of $133,000 fine for harming others on social media

Saudi society warns of $133,000 fine for harming others on social media

Warning comes as the country is ranked among the heaviest social media users in the world

Invading the privacy of, defaming or harming others on social media can carry a one-year prison sentence and a fine of up to SAR 500,000 ($133,324) in Saudi Arabia, The National Society of Human Rights has warned.

Arab News cited the organisation as detailing the punishment on Twitter.

NSHR president Mufleh Al-Qahtani was quoted as saying it was the organisation’s duty to encourage people to abide by the law and realise the consequences of their actions.

He was quoted as saying the emergence of modern media channels has resulted in various crimes committed by users.

“This entailed the enactment of the Anti-Cyber Crimes Law under a royal decree in 1428,” he explained.

Officials in several Gulf countries have warned of the consequences of social media posts, with insults and actions deemed to defame others carrying hefty fines and prison sentences, followed by deportation for expats.

Read: UAE officials warn of jail, fines for social media rumours – report

This comes despite people in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia being some of the most prolific users of the format.

A recent report by global agency We Are Social ranked the country’s fifth and seventh in the world respectively for time spent on social networking per day.

Read: Top 10 nations where people spend most time on social media


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