Kuwait takes action against fake social media accounts

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KUWAIT CITY, May 20: Security authorities, under the direct instructions of First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah, have intensified their monitoring of fake social media accounts, according to Al-Seyassah daily. These accounts are accused of spreading false information about the country’s political, economic, and social conditions, insulting officials and public figures, and harming foreign relations. This initiative is part of a broader effort to combat illegal social media activity, particularly accounts that disseminate rumors and lies affecting the country’s security and stability or damaging its foreign relations.

Sources confirm that the authorities will take firm and strict action against the owners of these accounts. Directives have been issued to investigate and gather information about the suspicious account holders, arrest them, and prosecute them according to the Penal Code and Law No. 63/2015 concerning information technology crimes. The investigations aim to uncover the sources of funding and the parties supporting or directing these accounts. Information is being collected, and indictments are being prepared by the competent authorities before legal measures are taken.

Over the past year, the Criminal Security Sector of the ministry has arrested several individuals operating fake social media accounts that spread false news and baseless rumors. The ministry is intensifying its efforts to arrest these account owners and take necessary actions, especially since some have previously been convicted with final sentences of imprisonment for similar offenses. This crackdown responds to the growing threat these fake accounts pose to national unity and the country’s security and stability, particularly amidst recent regional and international developments.

Authorities have warned social media users against interacting with these accounts through retweets, as such actions are considered crimes punishable by law. Additionally, the Department of Oversight and Inspection in the Ministry of Interior is monitoring ministry employees who photograph their security tasks and post them on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. Security personnel are prohibited from photographing their missions, using flashers, or taking photos inside patrols and posting them online.

In a recent press interview, the minister emphasized that individuals with malicious intentions who seek to create strife in Kuwait will be deterred by the force of law. He stressed that spreading rumors and fake news cannot be tolerated and that no loyal Kuwaiti accepts the rumors being spread. The minister also noted efforts to curb fake accounts managed from outside Kuwait and identify those supporting these accounts.

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