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The SA Government Could Soon Be Regulating Facebook

Author: Sherryn de Vos
Date: 2017-03-06
The South African Government might be stepping in to regulate social media, like Facebook, and the plague of fake news and scams.
In a statement made yesterday, Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, stated that the government is looking to clamp down on social media. He mentioned that the spread of false information and fake news is negatively impacting social media users.
"We are contemplating regulating the space. Even the best democracies that are revered regulate the space," Mahlobo said.
He claimed that the problem is not unique to our country. Countries all over the globe are facing the same issue. The abuse of social media is a common problem faced by most governments, as well as the general public.

Will It Infringe Human Rights?

He did acknowledge that a clamp-down on social media could be seen as an infringement on human rights. He stated that every effort would be made to avoid making the South African public feel like their rights were being interfered with. They will be consulting with various bodies, institutions, and forums in an effort to avoid the infringing on rights.
"We will be discussing how to regulate it," Mahlobo said.

Fake News

One of the main concerns surrounding social media is the false depiction of news and information. In many cases, Photoshop can be used to alter images and change photos of scenes and events. The spread of this false information is then heightened on social media, as it is such a large platform. He stated that it is not just the South African government looking at regulating social media. Democracies all over the world are looking into stepping in to control the spread of fake news. The statement came during a question and answer session after the press briefing by the Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security Cluster (JCPS) brief.

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