Instances of social media crimes are on a rise in Saudi Arabia. Recently, two women in the country were sentenced to 10 lashes as brutal punishment over WhatsApp conversations.
The unnamed women were punished for hurling abuses and insulting each other on WhatsApp, local media reported.
This is among the 220 "social media crimes" cases investigated in the past six months, Okaz Newspaper reported. The number of cases involving smartphones and social media has increased by 25 percent. This increase in social media crimes is due to the use of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Twitter, according to the report.
Another case involved a man who blackmailed a girl with whom he had a relationship, while a young man is facing charges for the possessions of obscene clips in his phone.
This is not the first time that citizens of the country are being punished for breaking Islamic laws using social media.
In 2014, Raif Badawi, a blogger, was arrested and charged with "insulting Islam through electronic channels." He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and a ten-year jail term. Badawi received first 50 lashes in 2015 and soon the incident garnered international attention.
In 2015, a woman was sentenced to 70 lashes and was asked to pay $5,332 as fine for insulting a Saudi man on WhatsApp. The woman was found guilty of tarnishing the man's image on the messaging app.
In 2014, two women in Red Sea city of Jeddah were sentenced to 10 days in jail and 20 lashes each for insulting each other on WhatsApp.
In other strange cases, men divorced their wives over WhatsApp conversations. In 2014, a Saudi man divorced his wife for not replying to his WhatsApp messages. In another case, a man divorced his wife because her brother and her husband had an argument on a WhatsApp group.