Kuwait, Sep 16, 2023: While communicating through messages, users tend to express their emotions and feelings through emoticons. According to studies, it is believed that emoticons help increase the intensity of communication. But did you know that there are certain Gulf countries that can put you in prison for sharing a red heart emoji?
Gulf countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can turn these gestures into legal consequences, including imprisonment. The rise of technology and messaging systems has brought a clear cultural difference between traditional ideas and modern ways of communication.
For instance, sharing heart emojis while communicating, especially with people of opposite genders, can be taken as a breach of modesty and an attempt to establish a romantic relationship against cultural standards. These Gulf countries are based on traditional Islamic cultures, thus limiting certain gender interactions.
This happens as red heart emojis are commonly linked to romantic feelings and emotions and lead to consequences for those who are involved in them. As per the rules in Kuwait, people convicted of this offence can face up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to 2000 Kuwaiti dinars.
Whereas, as per the law in Saudi Arabia, using the red heart emoji on WhatsApp might lead to imprisonment for two to five years and a fine of 100,000 Saudi Riyals. According to sources, sending red hearts under Saudi law can be taken as “harassment". If the crime is repeated, it may lead to a potential prison sentence of five years, which can reach up to 300,000 Saudi Riyals.
These rules and customs portray the complications of digital communication, cultural norms and legal consequences. Hence, it is advisable to be cautious about the rules and regulations of any country before communicating with any individual, as it might be misunderstood and lead someone to imprisonment or have some legal consequences.