Youth Exposed to Undesirable Content via Internet

SHARJAH - Thirty-three per cent of the 200 young people, mainly students, who took part in a study conducted by Sharjah Police said they had received or seen offending or pornographic pictures and videos through the Internet.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Thu 17 Dec 2009, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:28 AM

The study was conducted by Mariam Mohamed Al Ali, a researcher withthe police.

The majority of the people interviewed stringent penalties for those who misuse the Internet and conduct illicit activities that can jeopardise people’s lives or affect the whole society adversely.

According to the study titled ‘The electronic crimes related to morals in UAE’ prepared by Al Ali, lack of adequate parental supervision on what children watch on the websites is the main reason leading to more electronic crimes, followed by the negative impact of media.

The study revealed that 11 per cent of the interviewed people received offending messages and pictures and 22.5 per cent received pornographic videos, while 4.7 per cent fell prey to messages sent by offenders who blackmailed them through the Net and ruined their reputation.

“This kind of electronic crimes and law violations can only be avoided by strictly abiding to Islamic morals and values, improving the bonding among parents and their children and spreading awareness among the people, particularly youth, about the negative consequences of misusing the Internet,” the study says.

It also suggests rigid supervision of Internet users.

The study mainly targeted male and female students at Sharjah University and the Higher College of Technology. Sixty-eight per cent of those questioned were UAE nationals and 21.5 per cent Arab nationals and 1 per cent were of other foreign nationalities.

While 75 per cent of those interviewed were in 18-24 age group, 13 per cent in 25-34 group and 13 per cent above 40 years.

The study has come up with various recommendations for reducing cyber crimes, including heavy penalties for Internet abusers.

It has stressed the need to have cooperation among various authorities to ensure the society is protected from the dangers posed by the Internet and the importance of the family’s role like strong bonding among members and strict monitoring of what children watch on the Net.

The study has also called for launching a laboratory for collecting evidence in electronic crimes related to morals and a mechanism that can report any electronic crime and penalties for those who misuse the technology for embezzling and blackmailing others.

Police Plan Special Cyber Crime Unit

Sharjah Police are planning to set up a special unit for handling cyber crimes, a top officer of the Criminal Investigation and Research Department has said.

The officer, who did not want to be named, said more than 180 cases of slander and blackmail had been recorded in Sharjah in 2008 and so far this year. The police managed to track down the suspects in 80 per cent of the cases.

Police departments in Dubai and Sharjah have been receiving complaints with increasing frequency about bloggers who launch malicious campaigns aimed at ruining the reputation of certain people in revenge, he said.

In some cases, the offenders have blackmailed or threatened to blackmail girls or their families by circulating indecent photographs taken by mobile phone cameras if the victims do not pay up money.

The special police unit is being set up to cope with this increase in cyber crimes in the emirate.

He urged victims of blackmail to come forward and expose the offenders so that such crimes are curbed.

More news from