• Government is dedicated to keeping all its citizens protected in the digital age.
  • South Africa’s Films and Publications Amendment act has been declared operational.
  • Among other things, changes to the Films and Publications Act seek to modernise laws that protect the South African public from exposure to prohibited content distributed online.
  • This law also prohibits the exposure of children to harmful digital content that could have adverse psychological and behavioural impact.
  • It also introduces much stricter regulations around the distribution of online content in South Africa including through social media.
  • Content that promotes hate speech, incitement of violence, propaganda for war, child abuse and child pornography and bestiality is prohibited.
  • All laws that are enacted in South Africa give effect to the rights enshrined in our Constitution.


What we say and do online matters.

• The Films and Publications Amendment Act, which was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa will ensure better online protection for everyone.
• The act expands the powers of the Films and Publications Board to regulate online content, and allows the removal of prohibited content on social media.
• Under the act the dissemination of offensive online content is punishable by a number of penalties, including fines or jail time.
• Offenders face a fine ranging from R50 000 to R750 000.
• This new legislation balances the need to protect freedom of expression, while ensuring protection against harm including cases of cyberbullying, the dissemination of personal material without consent and pornographic material.
• The new legislation makes it easier for commercial online distributors to classify their own content.
• It also makes it easier for online commercial distributors to distribute content in South Africa.

Making the online space safer for everyone!

• The act allows for the removal of prohibited content on social media, which includes contents that incites violence and hate speech.
• It criminalises the distribution of intimate or invasive images without the person's consent.
• Increases the penalties for possession of child pornography from five to ten years in jail.
• It provides victims of online revenge pornography with legal recourse.

Let us make our social media spaces safe and welcoming to everyone.

• What we say and do online matters!
• We should all take responsibility for what we post and re-post on social media.
• We call on people to be mindful about what they post and share on social media.
• There is no place for posts that promote hate speech or infringe on the dignity of others.
• Irresponsible, hurtful or malicious social media posts can do great damage to the lives of people in the real world.
• Online threats and abuse can also impact women’s safety offline.

Together we can stop online violence and abuse.

• The effects of online violence or cyberbullying can be devastating, leaving the targeted person feeling hurt, humiliated, angry, depressed or even suicidal.
• You are not powerless if you are a target of online violence and abuse.
• Do not retaliate, responding in a similar manner usually creates a cycle of aggression.
• Save the evidence by capturing the social media post, voice note, image or video.
• This can be used as evidence should you ever need it.
• Block the person and report any abusive comments to social media website administrators.
• If you feel threatened call the SAPS Crime Stop (Tip-off Line): 0860 010 111 or Child line: 0800 055 555.

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