Residents in the UAE, beware: Apparently swearing on the messaging platform could now result in jail time and a fine of up to 250,000 dirhams ($68,000). Expatriates can even be deported .


The new law was brought to light when the UAE's supreme court ordered a retrial for a man who was fined $800 for swearing on WhatsApp, saying that the fine was too lenient. The defendant was prosecuted under the cybercrimes law.

Too lenient?


But those f-bombs might actually be relatively cheap: Last month, UAE police issued a warning that sending the middle finger emoji over WhatsApp could end result in a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to 500,000 dirhams ($137,000). You could get away with two curse words for one middle finger.

The good news is that you are only likely to be prosecuted if this is brought up in a dispute with somebody, and your bad language is reported to the authorities.

Bottom line: You can keep up the light cursing with your friends, but if you get in an argument with someone on chat, keep it civilized.


We were starting to worry last night's WhatsApp chat would get us into some serious trouble.