Abu Dhabi - The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said it was using social media messages and films to educate the public including children about legal issues
Social media has become an effective way of promoting legal culture among the public and educating them about the local laws which has resulted in reducing crimes, according to judicial authorities in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said it was using social media messages and films to educate the public including children about legal issues, the importance of abiding by the laws, cybercrimes, social and religious issues, interpretation of law and advice to youngsters and families.
The department officials said they are posting 1,200 awareness messages on their various social media sites in a month. Their short awareness films on YouTube have 4 million viewers.
After the official launch of the department's social media accounts a few years ago, there has been a visible decrease in certain crime trends, especially among youngsters.
Youssif Saeed Al Abri, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) said social media networks have proved to be a great tool of promoting legal awareness and spreading information about the law among the public.
"The use of social media has helped in spreading awareness among children and youths about legal issues and the importance of abiding by the law, which has resulted in reducing crimes and promoting security within the communities," said Al Abri.
The films and messages posted on social media send legal messages in an effective and non-traditional way.
Dr Salah Khamis Al Junaibi, Director of Corporate Communication and International Cooperation Department, said promoting the legal culture and spreading awareness about the law among all members of the community including youngsters was the department's top priority.
He noted that children were often unaware that some of their actions could lead them to getting prosecuted under the law, so creating a legal culture for them was necessary.
"Children might not understand the meaning of legal knowledge, so we are trying to explain through short videos that some actions like fights in school, using the mobile phone to insult others, playing dangerous pranks or causing disturbance are wrong and have damaging results," said Al Junaibi.
"By teaching the youth about the law at an early age, youngsters will be more likely to turn into responsible adults."
He explained that the department has worked on developing mechanisms for promoting legal culture among people and teaching them about social and family issues through social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
"The awareness films we produced and posted on YouTube focus on cybercrimes like blackmail, bullying of children, child harassment or abuse, begging, divorce and family problems, labour rights and other legal issues," said Al Junaibi.
Increase in followers
Hafez Salem Al Obaid, Head of Social and Digital Communication Department at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said that the number of followers of the department's various pages on social media increased to about 120,000 by the end of 2016.
"The number of followers of the department's page on Twitter has reached about 39,000 and the number of followers on Instagram is about 21,000 while 40,000 people visit our Facebook page monthly," explained Al Obaid.
"An average of 40 legal awareness messages are tweeted everyday and more than 1,200 tweets per month while being retweeted 20,000 times monthly by the public."
The short educational videos produced by the department for children include those about the negative effects of consuming illegal substances, school fights and misuse of social media and with messages to youngsters on how to avoid falling victims to groups that lure them into bad habits.
Major legal issues addressed in films
> Cybercrimes like blackmail, bullying of children, child harassment or abuse,
> Divorce and family problems
> Labour rights
> Negative effects of consuming illegal substances
> School fights
> Misuse of social media
> Messages to youngsters on how to avoid falling victims to groups that lure them into bad habits