Thursday, August 13, 2015

Do's and Don'ts of Facebook Usage in the UAE

Social media is not only an absolute game-changer on how we communicate, but how we interact with one another on a daily basis. UAE has one of the highest penetration rates on Facebook with over five million active users, which amount to more than 56% of the population. The number has tripled from 1.6 million over the past four years! Can you imagine?

As social media continues to be a highly influential and powerful medium in the UAE, so is the need to uphold moral obligation on content to be posted. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has launched a white paper regarding Facebook usage. The document offers a set of guidelines and actions to be taken on social media issues. Users should be aware of the risk under UAE laws involving the use of social media especially for the expat population, particularly in places like Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It is important to be educated about the general restrictions on Facebook usage, which are already similar to the existing laws in the UAE.

Users are expected to abide by these rules:
  • You must not post content on Facebook which includes hate speech, incites violence, contains graphic violence or pornographic material.
  • You are not allowed to operate any application which contains alcohol-related, dating or other mature content without appropriate restrictions.
  • You cannot bully, intimidate or harass others.
  • You must not post anyone else's identification documents or sensitive financial information.
  • You are not allowed to tag other users on photos and videos without consent.
Those who are misusing social media are not even aware of what they are doing. But being completely ignorant of the law is never an excuse for committing a crime. Let's all be responsible for what we post online.

Full version of Facebook white paper is available via TRA website. Other social networking sites included on the white papers are YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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