South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has approved a new law that prohibits sharing of certain messages on social media platforms.

The new regulations mainly apply to the sale, hiring and streaming of content on various digital platforms in South Africa.

The Films and Publications Amendment Act with the new law became effective as of Tuesday. This new act imposes very strict regulations with regards to what is being shared online around the country.

Some of the things you might not be allowed to share on social media anymore include:

Distribution of Sexually Explicit Materials

According to Broad Media, no person may create, produce, or distribute in any social media platform content depicting sexual violence against children — whether it’s a photograph or video content. The prohibition applies whether the individual in the photograph or film consented to be in the said content.

Internet service providers are also compelled to provide any information that might be needed by the South African Police Services to identify and possibly lay charges against an individual that has distributed child pornography on social media.

Any person who knowingly distributes private sexual photographs and films on any social media platform without the prior consent of the individual may be liable to pay up to $19,597.98 (R300,000) or face imprisonment for a period of up to four years. They could face both a fine and imprisonment.

Prohibition Against Propaganda and Incitement of War

No individual may post content that advocates hatred or incites violence that might lead to war. Hate speech may include hateful words that are targeted at a certain group with malicious intent.

What Internet Service Providers Can Do

If any internet service access provider has knowledge that its services are being used for hosting or distributing propaganda for war, incitement of imminent violence or advocating hatred based on an identifiable group, the internet service provider shall remove the harmful content.

By Zintle Nkohla

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