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Social media apps on a smartphone. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Abu Dhabi: Residents who post immoral videos on social networking sites in the UAE can face a hefty penalty of up to Dh500,000 in fines.

The Abu Dhabi Attorney-General on Monday ordered the arrest of people who misuse social media and who offend the morals of the public, after it came to light that offensive video clips have been circulating across the country.

The Attorney-General emphasised that UAE laws tackle all types of practices that constitute as an offence against public morals, which include the misuse of technology and social media.

The penalties were announced in line with Federal Decree-Law No. 5 of 2012 that combats cybercrime, which stipulates that “a person shall be punished by imprisonment and/or a fine of no less than 250,000 and not exceeding 500,000.”

The penalty applies to those who are found responsible in operating a website, or broadcasting, posting or forwarding offensive material, such as pornographic images and videos.

The Attorney-General stressed that social media users should adhere to a responsible code of ethics when posting photos or videos via their social media accounts, since platforms are widely accessible to children and the youth.

The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution further warned social media users against publishing material that may harm or offend the morals of the public, including phrases, signs, symbols, images or photographs, as well as any form of text, in addition to any type of visible or audible material.

The prosecution confirmed that it will take legal action against such violators.