Family Facebook feud ends up in Dubai Mall dust-up.
Two families were involved in a physical and verbal fight at Dubai Mall after a row on social media spiralled out of control.
Police said the altercation took place last week after two mothers fell out and began trading insults on Facebook.
The feud came to a climax when the families met by chance and the son of one of the women beat up a son of the other inside the mall.
Dubai Police revealed details of the row as they warned residents about behaviour online.
Fatima Al Kindy, from the Human Rights Department at Dubai Police, told 7DAYS: "Facebook and other social media were created to bring people together and are not meant to be a tool with which to insult others.
"UAE law will ensure the prosecution of anyone that uses the internet and smart phones to trade insults."
Al Kindy said that the women had been best friends until they had a falling-out. She said insults began on Facebook and led to tension between the families.
She said: "The two families were in Dubai Mall when came across one another.
"The children of the two women started fighting inside the mall. One of them beat the son of the second mother. Both women called their husbands for back-up."
She said the two men traded insults in front of shoppers until police were called. Rather than face prosecution, the families were referred to her department.
She said the women signed a document pledging to end the row, or face legal action.
Al Kindy detailed several other cases, including one in which an Arab woman came to the department to complain about her husband, who she said was seeing another woman.
She said: "She checked his phone and saw he had been sending romantic messages on WhatsApp to someone with a man's name. She discovered he put the number of his new girlfriend under that man's name.
"We spoke with the husband who confessed he was cheating on his wife."
Al Kindy said rather than see the case go to court, officials worked to keep them together.
She said: "With such a variety of social media, people can easily get to know strangers and this has contributed to cheating and the ruining of families.
"People should think before they meet strangers on social media and think about their marriages and relationships."
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