A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to three months in jail, 800 lashes and slapped him with a $2,666 fine for using Twitter and Facebook to falsely accuse a Kuwaiti singer from the United Arab Emirates of immoral behavior. He also posted photos of the singer.
Arab News reported, “Many have welcomed the ruling, saying it protects Internet users from online predators,” and it quoted expatriates as saying court decision will make them more cautious when using social networking.
“It is advisable for us not to post any negative comments on issues that are not clear to us. Let us establish the authenticity of the information that has reached us before sharing it,” Rasol Abbas, a community leader from the Philippines, was quoted as saying.
Arab News, which is based in Saudi Arabia, also cited an expert to tell its readers that “new research that reveals how social media sites negatively affect our sense of connection, decrease productivity, breach our privacy and lead to cyber-bullying in some instances.”
It also quoted Twitter account Judicious Arab as stating, “I hope this will put an end to irresponsible tweets and posts accusing women of adultery over differences of opinions.”
It is no wonder that a recent Pew poll showed that of all allies to the United States, American have the lest favorable view of Saudi Arabia.