The past 5 years social media has become one of Kuwait’s top news sources, a fast and an easy way to communicate and reach others, and a neutral space to express thoughts and viewpoints.
As the dependency on social media grows, the amount of people convicted for crimes committed on social media shall increase. As will the types of acts categorized as internet crimes will continue to develop.
The acts of harming, insulting, slandering and even threatening others do occur substantially in our daily lives but such acts are committed on social media more than during in-person encounters. This is due to the use of the alias accounts and fake nick names, which are created just for the purpose of slandering and insulting others in a public forum. While many end users believe social media is a private forum because their personal accounts are marked as private, the fact is social media platforms are legally considered a public forum, and anything said can be a subject for criminalization.
Moreover, Law Number 63 of the Year 2015 regarding Anti-Information Technology Crimes changed the landscape of social media usage by declaring which acts are punishable by the law.”
Stating that every person who has established a website, published, produced, prepared, arranged, sent, or stored information or data with the intention of exploiting or distributing such through the information network or a means of the information technology that would violate public ethics, shall be penalized with imprisonment for a period that does not exceed two years and a fine that is not less than two thousand dinars or by either of these two penalties.
Other illegal acts are mentioned, such as the person who exhibits or seduces a male or a female to commit salacity and debauchery, or exhibits such shall be captured and criminalized.
While the worldwide web and social media may feel like the land of freedom with no consequences for your action, many users must be clear that such platforms are monitored for misuse and criminal activity.
By Atyab Alshatti, Esq.