According to Dubai Police’s anti-organised crime unit, Col. Abdulrahim Bin Shafi, anybody caught spreading malicious rumors or false statements about the ruling family through social media could face up to 10 years in jail.
Causing public panic through Facebook, Twitter or even BBM is a punishable crime. “Spreading rumours or disclosing false information and news [that] threatens the public security or causes panic among the people…will be a crime [even] if it is through email, BlackBerry or any type of tool that spreads the information,” he told Arabian Business. “[We] impose severe penalties for those who spread rumours and dishonor our reputation.”
According to Arabian Business, this policy means that even if you’re forwarding such messages via email (or any other Social Media) could result in you getting jailed between 3 and 10 years.
Many UAE residents may feel that this law is impeding freedom of speech, but every argument has two sides. The law enforcement in UAE look at this as a way to avoid disharmony in the society.