Unquestionably, social media has become a powerful and useful tool to connect individuals from around the world. 

However, despite its many pros, social media also comes with its own set of risks, many of which can lead to legal action.

With a set of clear laws - many of which guide individuals how to go about postings during tragic times - the UAE government has vividly drawn the line between what's acceptable and appropriate versus the unacceptable use of content in the digital age.

Over the years, several accidents that occurred across the UAE have led to heavy virality on social media. 

More often than not, people recklessly share photos and videos of tragic incidents without putting thought into those affected by such realities. 

Let's take a look at some of them:

1. When 44-vehicle accidents in Abu Dhabi left 22 people injured

In February, heavy fog in the UAE led to two separate multi-vehicle accidents, causing numerous cars to collide on the major highway that links Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

A total of 22 people were injured and 44 cars were involved in the crash. 18 of those sustained minor injuries, 2 sustained serious injuries, and 2 others received moderate injuries, Gulf News reported.

At the time, a video of the accidents went viral on social media, leading to the arrest of the truck driver involved in the accident for violating the law, which bans heavy vehicles from driving during peak hours and unstable weather conditions.

2. When a massive blaze engulfed Dubai's Marina Tower

In August 2017, Dubai's Civil Defense forces put out a massive fire in Dubai Marina's Torch Tower, with no injuries reported.

Flames and debris were seen shooting from the building. One witness told CNN that around 30 to 40 residences were affected by the morning blaze. 

The incident, which went viral on social media, was the second fire the tower faced in just over two years, with the first taking place in February 2015.

The 86-storey (79 of which are above ground) building once held the record as the tallest residential structure in the world, shooting 336.8 meters into the sky. 

Speculating on incidents and creating rumours is considered illegal in the UAE

3. When an Emirates plane crash-landed at DXB

In 2016, an Emirates plane - flying from India to the UAE - crash-landed at Dubai's International Airport (DXB), falling on its belly as thick black smoke surrounded the plane. 

All passengers on the Boeing 777 jet were evacuated safely, with no reported injuries. However, one firefighter died after attending the fire onboard the plane, according to BBC.

Soon after the crash-landing occurred, people began sharing photos and videos on social media, which lead the UAE's top aviation authority to issue a warning against all those who share photos of accident sites. 

"GCAA warns all residence in the UAE to stop abusing social networks by publishing videos, news or pictures of aviation's accidents," the General Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement on Twitter.

"Sharing such practices is considered to be irresponsible and disrespectful to the victims, and is punishable under UAE law."

Filming and sharing footage and images of people without their consent is also against the law

4. When a massive fire hit Deira Creek dhows in Dubai

In July 2015, several dhows at Deira Creek caught fire after a blaze erupted in one dhow loaded with goods, quickly spreading to two others. 

Following the massive fire, ten civil defense and four rescue vehicles rushed to the scene as firefighters struggled to subdue the flames. One of the crew members suffered minor injuries, however, no other casualties were reported.

Following the incident, many people on social media began sharing photos and videos of the tragic accident.

Always remember to #PostWisely

The time we live in now is a strange one. A time governed by social media. A time where people are consumed by getting likes, shares, and fans in pursuit of making their social media profiles more interesting.

Unfortunately, this has led to a trend and a pattern of behavior that is irresponsible and shocking. In order to boost their online presence, people have started posting videos and photos of accidents, fights, and other unfortunate incidents, online.

We therefore urge you, the next time you chance upon someone who is in an unfortunate situation, however big or small, ask yourself first, if it was your pain, would you share it? #PostWisely