An Abu Dhabi court recently sentenced a Khaleeji man to a suspended two-month jail term and fined him 20,000 dirhams ($5,444) for calling his fiancée an "idiot" in a WhatsApp message.
During his session in court, the defendant said he was "just kidding" when he sent the message. However, he was still found guilty of insulting someone online under the country's strict cybercrime law.
The man's case was revealed in a report published by Emarat Al Youm, which highlighted the rise of cybercrime cases in UAE courts.
According to Khaleej Times, "sending anything of an offensive nature on social media is considered a cybercrime." Offenders found guilty in such cases face both jail sentences and fines of up to 1 million dirhams.
Some reacted to it with humor
"The age of wonders"
"What else didn't happen yet?!"
Others are now going to be cautious over their texts
"We have to be THAT careful with the people we chat with!"
Not the first case of the sort to be reported in the country
Earlier this year, a Khaleeji man who called a woman "stupid" in a WhatsApp message was sentenced to two months in jail.
However, having no previous criminal records, the term was suspended for three years.
He was also fined 20,000 dirhams ($5,444) after being charged with violating the country's cybercrime law.
Cybercrime laws are strict in the UAE
This isn't the first time a person faces legal consequences over misusing online apps in the UAE, a country that implements a strict cybercrime law.
Earlier this year, an Emirati court jailed a woman for looking through her husband's phone without his knowledge.
Last year, a UAE court also deported a man for insulting his wife on WhatsApp.
The country's cybercrime law governs various aspects of the internet including social media posts made to Facebook and WhatsApp messages.