Here's What You Need To Know About The Social Media Act

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The new internet censorship law approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa will result in several changes in the regulations of content posted on the interest and guilty individuals could be fined or spend time behind bars.


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The new internet laws in South Africa which were approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa will see many changes in the regulations of content posted on the interest and guilty individuals could be fined or spend time behind bars.

The Films and Publications Amendment (FPA) act was recently approved by President Cyril Ramphosa and came into effect from 1 March 2022.

The Act will now give the Film and Publications Board (FBB) the power to regulate all online content published in South Africa. Previously, they only had the power to regulate movies and content that appeared on television.

The FPA Act also will require all online distributors to register with and submit all content to the FPB for classification. Alternatively, online distributors will have to apply to the FPB’s Council for self-classification accreditation or for approval to use the classification ratings issued by a foreign or international classification authority.

No person is now allowed to share or expose a personal private sexual photograph through any medium on the internet or a social media platform. This is commonly referred to as revenge pornography.

People who knowingly distribute hate speech on the internet or on social media platforms that amount to propaganda for war incites imminent violence, or advocates hate speech, shall be guilty of an offence.

According to these new internet laws in South Africa, if an internet access provider knows that its services are being used for the hosting or distribution of child pornography, propaganda for war, incitement of violence or advocating hatred based on an identifiable group, they immediately remove this content or be subject to a fine.

The FPB’s Pandely Gregoreui explained that content creators may not have to share their content with the FPB before posting it on social media. This as being a distributor of content applies to different companies or platforms.

The moment we have an online distribution agreement with a platform that has agreed to be able to ensure that content that is going to be on the platform is aligned to our classification guidelines, people who make use of that platform to be able to distribute or exhibit their content would fall under that specific agreement.

“So as long as that agreement is in place with the platform then they would be covered, they would not have to worry about that because the actual platform itself would ensure that the content meets the expectations of the Film and Publication Board”, concluded Gregoreui.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Philly Mapulane said the seeks to modernise laws that protect the South African public from exposure to prohibited content distributed online or exposure of children to harmful digital content that could have adverse psychological and behavioural impacts.

 

 

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