Defamation on youtube
Image Credit: Screengrab / Youtube


A questioner asks: I own a company. A month ago, I discovered that a famous YouTuber was defaming my company and my personal name, and using inappropriate words. My question is: what is the position of the law on this behaviour? Do I legally have the right to file a criminal case as well as a civil case to demand material and moral compensation and rehabilitation? Please advise.



To answer this question, I would advise the questioner that:

You have the right to file a criminal case against him for defamation and insulting and after you get the judgment from the criminal court you might file a civil case to demand material and moral compensation.

According to Article 43 of Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021 on Combating Rumors and Cybercrimes, any person who insults others or ascribes to them an incident that would make them subject to punishment or contempt by others, using an information network, information technology means or an information system, shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh 250,000 and not more than Dh 500,000, or one of these two penalties.

Article 44 addresses the use of information technology and/or information technology equipment to unlawfully, and without consent, to reveal secrets, or invade the privacy, of another.

Offences under Article 44 include: "eavesdropping, intercepting, recording, transmitting, or revealing conversations, communications or audio or visual materials; taking photos of third parties in any public or private place, or preparing, transferring, disclosing, copying or keeping electronic photos; publishing news, electronic photos, images, scenes, comments, data or information, even if it is true and genuine, with intention of harming a person; transmitting, or publishing photos of injured persons, the dead, or the victims of accidents or disasters without permission or consent of the relevant parties concerned; and/or Tracking, monitoring, revealing, transmitting, disclosing, copying or keeping the geographic location data of third parties."

Penalties for these offences include imprisonment for at least 6 months and/or a fine of not less than Dh150,000 but not more than Dh500,000. It is worth highlighting that the use of information technology or equipment to modify or process any record, photo or scene with the intention of defaming or insulting another person can result in imprisonment for at least one year and/or a fine of not less than Dh250,000 up to a maximum amount of Dh500,000.