Legally Speaking – What Not To Post On Social Media.
Most South Africans are unaware, but individuals should think carefully before posting anything on social media. South African laws are becoming increasingly stricter and therefore there are certain things which South Africans should not post on social media. Posting without thinking about it may land an individual with a large fine or jail time.
Cyber Crimes, Hate Crimes and Hate Speech
Recent developments in South African law have had us see the Cyber Crimes and Cyber Security Bill being signed into law as well as developments from the Prevention of Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill making harmful online messages a criminal offence.
What Not To Post
1. Negative statements about your boss, colleagues or place of work.
It has transpired and be found fair in previous instances to dismiss or bring a lawsuit against employees who have made such statements on social media.
2. Racist posts or racially charged posts.
South African individuals have and are currently facing prosecution for making defamatory and racist remarks on social media, both whilst in South Africa out outside of the Republic. Historically individuals have been found guilty of the crime of crimen injuria and ordered her to pay R150 000 to charity.
3. Sexually explicit content without consent.
The rise of so called “revenge porn” has necessitated some countries such as Israel, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan to enact laws making it illegal to disseminate sexually explicit material without the consent of the other party.
South Africa in September 2019 enacted the Films and Publications Amendment Act 11 of 2019 in which revenge porn has been criminalised. Basic offences come with a maximum jail sentence of two years, and a fine of up to R150 000. However, if you post revenge porn which identifies the victim, both the prison time (four years) and the financial penalty (R300 000) are doubled.
It goes without saying that individuals should seriously consider what they post and what they share. I good rule of thumb to go with is that if you would not post a billboard with the information on it, then do no not post it on social media. Du Toits Attorneys prides itself in legal advice and assistance to the customer whenever it is required. If you have any legal questions, matters or require an attorney, contact us to assist you.