ABU DHABI // Four people have been held on charges of tribal instigation and libel related to comments made on the social networking site Twitter.
In April last year a heated discussion between a Palestinian woman and three Emirati men ended with the trading of insults.
A member of one tribe, whose name was mentioned in the disagreement, made a complaint to Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution against the woman. The four defendants were detained for two weeks to complete investigations.
An official from the office of Abu Dhabi Attorney General said: "Some people do not understand the grave consequences of their conduct on social networking sites or over the internet in general.
"Such actions, like libelling and instigation, are completely outlawed whether committed in the real world or the virtual one. This is especially true for those who think that it will be difficult for authorities to detect them," he said.
"That is completely untrue. Detecting those who make such actions, like stealing email addresses, is an extremely easy and quick task.
"There are no problems facing authorities in combating such conducts. Moreover, ignorance of laws is not at all a waiver of legal responsibility," he added.
The official stressed that penalties for cyber crimes can be as high as three years' imprisonment.