Sending this WhatsApp emoji in Saudi Arabia can land you in prison

Sending the popular red heart on WhatsApp can become proof of “harassment” in digital media in the country.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has included the so-called WhatsApp  heart emoi in its anti-harassment law and its use could land you in prison.

The information, initially taken by the Okaz newspaper , includes the statements of Al Moataz Kutbi, a member of the Saudi Arabian Anti-Fraud Association, who has explained in the local newspaper that, in the event that the receiver of the emoji files a lawsuit, he could use it. as evidence of harassment.

“According to the anti-harassment system, harassment is defined as any manifestation, act or gesture with a sexual connotation made by a person towards any other that touches their body or their honor or violates their modesty by any means, including modern technology. This includes (emojis) associated with sexual connotations as per society’s custom, such as red hearts and red roses,” Kutbi said.

What is the penalty of being sued?

Under Saudi law, if the defendant is found guilty of harassment, he can be jailed for two to five years in prison, in addition to paying a fine of 100,000 Saudi riyals or about 26,000 dollars.

In case of repeating the violation of the law, you will have to pay triple the fine.

There is a wide range of emojis included in the application, but the most curious are the hearts. These can be found in the penultimate tab of the icons window and are integrated into a category that could be considered as “symbols”. For that reason, each of the hearts -represented by a different color- has a particular meaning and use in a conversation.

In WhatsApp there are multiple heart emojis, but only the red one has animation. This hopes to change soon, as according to WaBetaInfo, Meta wants to update all her emojis with transitions.