Sunday, January 4, 2015

You Tube do’s and don’ts in the UAE

In its latest Social Media awareness document, the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) issued its White Paper focusing on You Tube at the end of December. 

It highlights the terms and conditions of the most popular social networks in use in the UAE which has more than one billion unique visitors every month and over 100 hours of video uploaded every minute.

YouTube, the video sharing website, allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. Registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos and leave comments on other videos. Much of the content is filmed and uploaded by individuals.

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

The TRA’s You Tube White Paper highlights the following information as a priority for all respective subscribers:

1. Users are prohibited from undertaking predatory behavior, stalking, threats and harassment of others. Harassment could include copying a user's channel layout, using a similar username, or posing as another person. Any user found to be doing these things may be permanently banned from YouTube. “Spam” style communications are also banned.

2. Users must only upload videos which they have made or which they are authorized to use.

3. YouTube is owned by Google. In using the YouTube service, users agree to Google’s terms relating to the collection and sharing of their personal information.

The TRA’s UAE Social Media White Papers collection includes directives for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yahoo/Flickr, LinkedIn, Gmai, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Store, Blackberry and Keek.

YouTube’s Community Guidelines are designed to reduce abuse of the site's features. In particular, users must not upload content:

• Of a pornographic or sexually explicit nature;

• Which encourages dangerous or illegal activities including instructional bomb making, drug use, or other acts where serious injury may result;

• Which includes graphic or gratuitous violence, or accidents. Documentary style content may be acceptable, but content that is mainly intended to be shocking, sensational or disrespectful is not;

• Which promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on certain attributes such as race or religion.

The invasion of other people’s privacy and the sharing of other people’s personal information is prohibited. Private information could include personal details as well as other information such as comments, images and videos.

UAE law contains broad provisions relating to the protection of privacy and reputation. The TRA says users should be aware of the risk under UAE law of claims for defamation and breach of privacy involving the use of videos and images of other people without consent.

The full versions of the various White Papers can be read on the TRA’s official website: