Punish those who defame others on social media


Al-Madinah newspaper

The policy to combat cybercrime issued by the Communications and Information Technology Commission has still not led to raised awareness, provided guidance, issued warnings and enforced sanctions in ensuring information security and preserving the rights of people.

There are many questionable issues that occur on social media, which is a place where rumors can spread as fast as wildfire. This includes fake stories and video clips that are offensive and used for blackmailing, defaming or taking revenge on people. Some of these crimes are not aimed at individuals, but rather at our nation, as well as at the unity and solidarity of Saudi society.

Although the perpetrators of some of these crimes deserve to be imprisoned for a period of not more than one year and a fine not exceeding SR500,000, we continuously witness, especially on social media, these crimes taking place. They are inflicted without anyone knowing who the perpetrator is or who is responsible. There might be a video clip with comments that might be shared with millions of people.

A video of men and women at a party was recently circulated on social media and it was mentioned that one of the women was a member of a public council. The woman confirmed that she was not at that party and completely rejected what was attributed to her in the video clip. Now the question is who should be held accountable for this video? Will the person be named and punished for defaming this woman and attempting to discredit her? Who benefits from undermining the reputation and status of Saudi women? Is there a deterrent in place to ensure that this does not happen again?

It is necessary that a firm stance be taken against those who are irresponsible and misguided enough to destroy the reputation and status of people. They should be severely punished to set an example for others and for them to realize that no matter how they may hide behind technology, justice will reach them sooner or later.