The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has warned all the country’s residents to avoid posting images and videos of “aviation accidents” on social media.
The warning comes after images and videos of Emirates flight EK521, which crash-landed in Dubai airport on Wednesday, have been circulating widely on social media channels.
In a statement on its Facebook page, the GCAA said: “Residents in the United Arab Emirates [have been warned] to stop abusing social networks by publishing videos, news or pictures of aviation accidents. Sharing such images and videos is considered to be irresponsible and disrespectful to the victims, and is punishable under UAE law.”
The UAE has strict laws covering the usage of social media networks in the country.
Last month, the UAE’s Ministry of Interior also warned people against posting photographs or video clippings of traffic accidents on social media.
In a statement, the ministry said the circulation of such images or videos “is deemed irresponsible behaviour and shows the lack of a positive spirit among the citizenry. It is also a violation of the law.”
People must respect the feelings of the relatives of the deceased and those injured, the statement added.
“The circulation of these images is unacceptable as it can cause a psychological shock to parents when they view such images.”
Such a move is also ‘contrary’ to the UAE’s values derived from the Islamic concept of tolerance.
The ministry emphasised that those who posted such images on social media would face stringent action.
Images of the crash landing of EK521, which had 300 people onboard, showed the aircraft burst into flames with smoke billowing all around.
All the passengers and crew members were evacuated safely, but a firefighter died during rescue efforts.
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