Sending ‘red heart’ emoji on WhatsApp can reportedly land you in trouble if you are in Saudi Arabia. As per a report by Gulf News, Okaz newspaper claims that a Saudi cyber crimes expert has warned the public over usage of red heart emoji on WhatsApp. In a statement to the local newspaper, Al Moataz Kutbi, a member of the Anti-Fraud Association in Saudi Arabia said that sending the red heart emoji on WhatsApp amounts to harassment crime if the receiver files a lawsuit.
“Some images and expressions during online chats may turn into a crime of harassment if a lawsuit is filed by the injured party.” he further added in the statement. The report suggests that if the sender of the ‘red heart’ emoji is found to be guilty according to Saudi law, he/she could be jailed for 2 to 5 years along with a SR100,000 (approx Rs 19,90,000) fine. In case of repeated violation, the fine could reach SR300,000 together with five years in jail.
Al Moataz Kutbi also revealed that “as per the system, every statement, act, or gesture with sexual connotations made by a person towards any other that touches his/her body or honour or infringes his/her modesty by any means, including modern technology is defined as harassment.” The use of red heart emojis is also forbidden under this law.
It is worth noting that the red heart emoji is currently the only animated emoji in the WhatsApp library. As per a previous report by WABetaInfo, the Facebook-owned platform is working to add the animated effect to more emojis. According to the report, the platform will soon introduce the same animation for all other heart emojis. WhatsApp currently has nine heart emojis including the animated one.
WABetaInfo has also shared a video showing what the new animated heart emojis will look like. The emojis are already available for WhatsApp web and Windows app beta users. It is expected that the company will roll out the new animated emojis with upcoming beta updates for Android and iOS devices.