In a surprising development, authorities in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have introduced stringent measures against the seemingly innocuous act of sending heart emojis to females. According to a report by Gulf News, individuals found guilty of this act could now face imprisonment for up to two years as these countries label it a crime of incitement to debauchery.
Previously considered a simple display of affection, the act of sending a heart emoji to a girl through social media platforms like WhatsApp is now categorized as a serious offense, punishable by law. Haya Al Shalahi, a prominent Kuwaiti lawyer, highlighted the legal consequences of this new stance. Per her explanation, those charged with this crime could potentially be sentenced to a prison term of up to two years and fined an amount of up to 2,000 Kuwaiti dinars.
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The situation is even more severe in Saudi Arabia, where convicted individuals might face imprisonment for a period ranging from two to five years, accompanied by a fine of 100,000 Saudi Riyals. This strict approach reflects the countries’ commitment to maintaining moral and social standards in online interactions.
A Saudi cybercrime expert, Al Moataz Kutbi, emphasized the gravity of the situation, explaining that the act of sending red heart emojis to girls on platforms like WhatsApp is now considered harassment within the jurisdiction of the country. He cautioned that using certain images and expressions during online conversations could potentially be construed as harassment, subject to legal consequences if a lawsuit is filed by the aggrieved party. Al Moataz Kutbi is a member of Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Fraud Association.
Furthermore, the penalties for such actions can escalate significantly for repeat offenders. If an individual persists in engaging in the behavior despite legal repercussions, the fine could reach an astonishing 300,000 Saudi Riyals, coupled with a lengthy five-year prison term.
This unexpected shift in legal interpretation underscores the evolving landscape of digital communication and the increasing scrutiny of online interactions. While seemingly innocuous, actions that were once considered minor expressions of emotion now carry substantial legal implications, acting as a reminder that even in the virtual realm, actions must adhere to the norms and laws of the land.