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There must be disciplinary action if EFF member posed as 'racist' Tracy Zille

15 July 2020 11:29 AM
Tags:
Social media
legal action
Emma Sadlier
disciplinary action
Tracy Zille
race-baiting
Twitter account
EFF councillor
Anthony Matumba

An investigation has revealed that an EFF councillor is allegedly behind the race-baiting Twitter account @TracyZille which has caused outrage online.

The Twitter account @TracyZille has been trending in recent weeks for fanning racial tensions on the social media platform.

The account - which currently has over 40,000 followers - was only created last month, but it has become notorious for posting racially divisive tweets.

It has now emerged that @TracyZille is a fake account allegedly run by EFF member Anthony Matumba, who posed as the white 'racist' woman online for monetary gain.

An investigation by Digital Forensic Lab has found that Matumba exploited racial tensions to monetise visitor traffic to his websites.

Social medial law expert Emma Sadleir says there are grounds for both legal and disciplinary action to be taken against councillor Matumba.

Matumba works for the Makhado Local Municipality in Limpopo and is an outspoken member of the EFF.

An in-depth investigation by Jean Le Roux, a research associate with the Digital Forensic Research Lab, exposes how Matumba allegedly used the @TracyZille account to drive traffic to at least three of his income-generating websites.

Read more about the findings on Daily Maverick here.

Sadleir says Matumba could be criminally liable for fraud, misrepresentation, and racial hatred because the @TracyZille account was not expressly presented as a parody profile.

However, it's unclear whether criminal charges will be laid against him.

In the meantime, Sadleir says the EFF and the Makhado Local Municipality should take disciplinary action against councillor Matumba.

I'm not sure what the EFF policy says but, certainly, there should be disciplinary consequences that flow from this.

Emma Sadleir, Founder - Digital Law Company

RELATED: Helen Zille's apartheid tweet exposes 'crisis of whiteness' in DA and society - Basson

The @TracyZille account should also be deactivated, she adds.

While Twitter allows clearly-defined parody accounts, fake accounts are in contravention of Twitter's policy.

Sadlier says the @TracyZille Twitter handle is an example of how some people anonymously use social media for harm.

It also exposes some weaknesses in Twitter's social media guidelines.

The bigger issue is the extent to which these platforms allow people to be somebody else, especially where harm comes from that.

Emma Sadleir, Founder - Digital Law Company

There's a lot of inflammatory content that has been coming out of this account... and seemingly it's been coming from a white woman.

Emma Sadleir, Founder - Digital Law Company

Anonymity is the root of all evil on social media... as soon as people feel emboldened by this veil of anonymity, then we get a lot of law-breaking doing.

Emma Sadleir, Founder - Digital Law Company

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


15 July 2020 11:29 AM
Tags:
Social media
legal action
Emma Sadlier
disciplinary action
Tracy Zille
race-baiting
Twitter account
EFF councillor
Anthony Matumba

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