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TRA publishes YouTube whitepaper

Regulator continues series on educating UAE public on use of social media

TRA publishes YouTube whitepaper
The lack of restrictions in YouTube uploads has proved controversial in the past in the Gulf region.

UAE ICT authority, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has launched a whitepaper on YouTube usage as part of its "The UAE Social Media White Papers" collection.

IN DEPTH: ITP.net's guide to UAE laws on social media

The paper, like others in the series is aimed at highlighting legal use of social platforms in the UAE.

Google-owned YouTube has one of the Internet's highest engagement rates, claiming around 1bn visitors every month. But the lack of restrictions in uploads has proved controversial in the past in the Gulf region. In late March, three Saudi citizens were arrested in the kingdom after posting YouTube videos in which they criticised King Abdullah and his government. And in the UAE, an impromptu film-maker was arrested for uploading footage of an unnamed government official's physical altercation with a motorist following a minor traffic incident.

"The laws of the UAE prohibit the publication of content, which is contrary to public morals, the principles of Islam and the social and moral welfare of the UAE, or any content that contains irreverence towards Islam and any other heavenly religions," the TRA reminded citizens in an emailed statement. "The content must also respect the UAE government, its leadership, political institutions and ultimately the UAE's cultural heritage and social norms and customs."

With reference to YouTube, the whitepaper highlights a range of areas where users should be wary. For example, predatory behaviour, stalking, threats and harassment of others are all prohibited under UAE law. Harassment can include "copying a user's channel layout, using a similar username or posing as another person".

IN DEPTH: ITP.net's guide to UAE laws on social media

Users must also ensure they only upload videos they have made, or which they are authorised to use.

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