According to NBC News, Saudi Arabia has sentenced seven people to jail for posting on Facebook messages encouraging anti-government protests. The prison sentences ranged from five to ten years. The men involved were not charged with participating in the actual protests but with "inciting "protests, illegal gathering, and breaking allegiance with the king".
This is not the first time that a country has sent people to jail for protesting online. Last year, Oman sentenced two people to jail for their alleged anti-government Facebook posts. One of those sent to prison was accused of posting a poem on Facebook which allegedly criticized the ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos.
While social media may be utilized to express personal opinions for the entire world to see, it is imperative to be mindful of not only the law but also the political environment to ensure that the content uploaded does not lead to a prison sentence.
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