In this day and age, communication has rapidly taken various forms other than speaking and writing. Nowadays, people (especially on social media) can use symbols known as “emojis” to express their mood, feelings, or emotions.
The use of emojis can be seen as a more casual way of livening up a conversation, by which words (if not the user) fails to effectively express in plain standard textual conversation. Novel as it is, there are certain implications in countries such as the UAE, regarding to misuse of these characters in daily communication.
Do Not Use Emojis Meant to Insult, Harrass, or Threat Others in UAE
The misuse of emojis can land the sender in court in instances where it was used to insult, harass or threaten someone in the UAE, as shared in a report by the Khaleej Times.
In a precedent case examined by a court in Ras Al Khaimah, wherein an Asian worker faced accusations of libel and slander due to the fact that he posted a fox emoji on a picture of a group of people.
The case was filed on the basis that the fox emoji was considered offensive by the complainant.
According to law experts some people file petty claims to take revenge on someone or to leech money off them.
However, there are also cases wherein some people use emojis as way to express an insult or ridicule someone, by sending an emoji of a dog, fox, or pig.
In such cases, the court may hand down a fine to a person if it finds the defendant guilty of using an emoji as an insult. Also, the history of the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant will be considered by prosecution.
Furthermore, other law experts claimed that while the misuse of emojis may not only be offensive, but even threatening as in the case of sending an emoji of a knife or weapon that picture the image of causing bodily harm to the other. Meanwhile, in cases where the sender and recipient are in no way related to each other, sending an emoji of a flower or heart may be deemed improper, even considered as a form of harassment by some women.
The general rule with the use of emojis or social media is that, do not say or express anything that you would not have said otherwise if you were right in front of the person you are talking to. Also, always be mindful of your behaviour online as if you mean/say them in person.