Insulting someone on WhatsApp is a serious crime in Saudi Arabia, as two women recently found out.
In a case reported by Okaz Newspaper, a Saudi judge sentenced the women to 10 lashes each, after they insulted each other via the messaging app.
The ruling was revealed in a report on the increase of crimes related to social media in the kingdom.
According to the local newspaper, such offenses have been on the rise in recent months, with over 220 social media crimes reported in the past 6 months alone.
Other than the 'WhatsApp' case, several other bizarre ones are now in legal records.
They include a case involving a man who sent his friend an offensive message and another which saw a man blackmail a woman, threatening to share revealing photos of her.
Speaking to Okaz, Saudi legal expert Nisrine Ali Al Ghamdi explained that people must understand the consequences of cyber crimes.
She also warned that the kingdom will be implementing severe punishments against those who use their phones to film or harass female drivers in the country.
"The ban lift on women driving is set to take effect in the coming months and we warn that anyone who thinks it'll be acceptable to film women behind the wheel for social media, that they will face legal consequences," she said.
Just last month, a video of a man abusing a woman driver sparked outrage across Saudi Arabia after it went viral on social media.
Authorities are now making it clear that such behavior, whether online or off, will not be tolerated.
Early in September, Saudi Arabia officially lifted a long-standing ban on women driving; the decision is set to take effect in June 2018.
The UAE also has strict cyber crime laws
Swearing on WhatsApp can also get people in major trouble in the UAE.
In the country, a rigid cybercrime law is set in place - governing various aspects of the internet including social media posts made to Facebook and Whatsapp messages.
According to the UAE's 2012 cybercrime law, individuals can be prosecuted if they make statements deemed "disrespectful" toward Islam, morals, and good conduct.
This includes slander and breach of privacy, as well as posts or comments that are meant to harm another's reputation and/or publishing information about an individual without permission.
According to Gulf News, Article 21 of the law states that anyone who "uses a computer network and/or electronic information system (social media) for the invasion of privacy of another person in other than the cases allowed by the law," will be sentenced to "imprisonment of a period of at least six months and a fine not less than 150,000 dirhams and not in excess of 500,000 dirhams or either of these two penalties."
In the first half of 2015, the Abu Dhabi family prosecution received at least 10 cases in which people were deported for insulting their spouse on messaging apps including Whatsapp.