Love Heart Emojis: A Dangerous Crime in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait?

Think before you click, as the saying goes, when doing something online. It’s always best to be mindful when sending messages to someone on the Internet, especially if you’re sending heart emojis to girls in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, or you might end up in jail.

You read that right. Sending a heart emoji to a girl on WhatsApp or any other social networking site in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is now considered a crime of inciting debauchery and harassment, punishable by law.

A Kuwaiti lawyer, Haya Al Shalahi, said on July 30th that those guilty of this crime could face up to two years in prison and a hefty fine not exceeding 2,000 Kuwaiti dinars (equivalent to 6,499 US dollars). Sending red heart emojis to girls on WhatsApp or other messaging platforms in neighboring Saudi Arabia can also lead to jail time.

According to Saudi law, anyone guilty of doing this act may serve a jail time of two to five years and have to pay a fine of 100,000 Saudi riyals (equivalent to 26,657 US dollars). In instances of repeat violations, the fine could go up as high as 300,000 Saudi riyals (equivalent to 79,973 US dollars) and a maximum of five years in prison.

However, this Saudi law only applies to WhatsApp messages, not other messaging platforms.

A Saudi cybercrime expert said that sending red heart emojis on WhatsApp could be considered “harassment” within the country’s jurisdiction.

A member of the Anti-Fraud Association in Saudi Arabia, Al Moataz Kutbi, also said that using “certain images and expressions during online conversations may turn into a harassment crime if a lawsuit is filed by the aggrieved party.

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