Human Rights Commission takes on social media

Social media has the power to connect millions of people. News and information as well as personal views are easily and conveniently shared through the social media platforms across the world. However not everything said on these platforms is expressed positively.

In recent months, a number of complaints received by the Human Rights Commission emanating from Facebook and Twitter has escalated. In 2014 alone, freedom of speech related cases soared from 3% to 22%. Kayum Ahmed - CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission gave reasons to the rising number of these complaints as:

  • Most South Africans have access to mobile technology that allows them access to social media platforms.
  • People are aware of their rights, both on freedom of expression and recognising the limitations of these rights.
  • As apartheid is becoming a distant memory,social media becomes a platform were people can articulate the feelings hoarded for many years.
  • Young people are using social media a lot more and these platforms are used to perpetuate hate speech.

Ahmed also articulated that many people are led to believe that whatever they post on social media is in their private space and will not have negative implications but that it is not the case. He added that employers can also take actions against employees who put their company’s names into disrepute. This is commonly practiced in the United Kingdom, where there’s a case law which suggest that employees can be held accountable for personal statements made on social media.

We need to find a balance between freedom of expression and racist postings. It is best to adopt a more cautious approach to posting on Facebook and Twitter

Section 16 of the South African Constitution protects freedom of expression and only limits free speech in cases of propaganda for war, incitement of imminent violence and advocacy of hatred.

The constitution needs to be used as the bench mark on the basis in which we engage in these kinds of debates. On the other hand, we need to ensure that people are given space and platform to articulate their views. A nanny state approach is certainly not what we advocate for as the human rights commission


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
A flirt or a predator? Callers share thoughts on flirting in light of #MeToo

A flirt or a predator? Callers share thoughts on flirting in light of #MeToo

It's become clear that more people are trying to carefully navigate the line between flirting and harassment, or sexual predation.

Zuma's permanent stay of prosecution bid puts NPA on trial, says Karyn Maughan

Zuma's permanent stay of prosecution bid puts NPA on trial, says Karyn Maughan

Reporter Karyn Maughan shares latest in Jacob Zuma's high court bid to have corruption charges against him permanently dropped.

Naked Scientist describes Hello Tomorrow Summit's 'deep technology' innovations

Naked Scientist describes Hello Tomorrow Summit's 'deep technology' innovations

The Naked Scientist, Chris Smith talks about all things science and answers listener's questions.

This mess that is Eish-kom, is the ANC's doing, says Eusebius

This mess that is Eish-kom, is the ANC's doing, says Eusebius

Eusebius McKaiser and callers discuss Ramaphosa's comment that South Africans will overcome load shedding like they did apartheid.

SA hasn't yet succeeded in fulfilling vision of the Constitution, panel says

SA hasn't yet succeeded in fulfilling vision of the Constitution, panel says

Eusebius McKaiser hosted a discussion on the gap between the vision of the Constitution and the lives of people in South Africa.

'Punitive action not the best response for employees battling with alcoholism'

'Punitive action not the best response for employees battling with alcoholism'

This HR exec says bosses needs to be more supportive towards staff affected by alcoholism, substance abuse or any other addiction.

Popular articles
Shift to stage 2: Over 800 megawatts back on line from Cahora Bassa - Eskom

Shift to stage 2: Over 800 megawatts back on line from Cahora Bassa - Eskom

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer predicts Stage 2 load shedding for Friday and Saturday and energy expert Chris Yelland also weighs in.

Distraught caller describes harrowing experience on Baden Powell Drive

Distraught caller describes harrowing experience on Baden Powell Drive

A CapeTalk caller explained to Lester Kiewit how he went through flames and over rocks, and debris to escape his car being stoned.

SA doctors use 3D printing in world's first ever middle ear transplant

SA doctors use 3D printing in world's first ever middle ear transplant

Thanks to the groundbreaking surgery, a 35-year-old man will hear again after his ear was completely damaged in a car crash.

DStv subscription price hikes for 2019

DStv subscription price hikes for 2019

MultiChoice will increase the prices of certain DStv packages from 1 April.

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Eskom has warned that more power cuts can be expected as maintenance continues over the next twelve months.

SA only nation capable of hosting Afcon 2019, says sports pundit

SA only nation capable of hosting Afcon 2019, says sports pundit

Safa will make a bid to host Afcon next year after Cameroon was stripped of its hosting rights over security concerns and other delays.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.