Dubai: People who circulate rumours or fake news on social media platforms sparking coronavirus panic among the public may face jail terms of up to five years, and a fine of up to SR3 million, the Saudi daily Okaz reported on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution warned against undermining public order by circulating unknown source news and rumours about coronavirus that could cause panic. Those found to be circulating fake news and rumours will be held accountable.
Saudi residents and expatriates who post fake news or rumours about the coronavirus on social media risk criminal charges that may get them jail or paying a hefty fine.
Officials said people should seek information from official sources and not engage in posting news from anonymous sources that may undermine the public order.
According to the cybercrime law, producing and posting rumours on online platforms is a crime punishable by a term of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to SR3 million.
The warning comes in the wake of the spread of coronavirus-related fake news on social media platforms.
The Ministry of Health called on all members of the public to seek news and information from reliable and official sources and urged them to trust only the information shared by official sources and be aware of rumours and misinformation. People who have queries about coronavirus and its developments can call hotline No. 937.