The Protection of State Information Bill
In the mid-2000s, a parliamentary review process to replace apartheid laws included a planned repeal and replacement of the Protection of Information Act 84 of 1982
The South African Protection of State Information Bill, formerly named the Protection of Information Bill and commonly referred to as the Secrecy Bill, is a highly controversial piece of proposed legislation which aims to regulate the classification, protection and dissemination of state information, weighing state interests up against transparency and freedom of expression.
The concerns as submitted in various documents focused on:
- overly broad definitions of “national interest”, “security”, “national security” and “state security”
- the classification of commercial information held by the state and the ability to classify such information not held by the state;
- the classification of commercial information as ‘top secret’, ‘secret’ and ‘confidential’ based on hypothetical or speculative harm to the ‘national interest’ and
- the criminalisation of activities which would undermine investigative journalism.
There are heavy punishment on the offenders, and infrinces with the rights of the common man.
The media has raised it concerns that if and when this Bill becomes law it would limit the right to freedom of expression. This is indeed very true.
Then when we look at closer at the media, especially on news24, there is a concern about the changing of articles/ the no placement of articles and the deleting of comments. This is all good if the comment do not comply with the standard set around it, but commits are deleted at random where there is no agreement from N24 side.
News24 is in fact preventing the rights of their users to express themselves, even if there is no breaking of the rules in accordance to the policies.
The start of where one’s right are taken away…
“Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
The comment Policy
“- The relevance of the comment to the topic
- The extent to which other users will understand what has been said
- The extent of swear words, the degree of insulting language and severity of the tone of the comment towards either a group of people or an individual
- News24 Users who abuse the comments facility by posting under existing aliases or who post simply to incite arguments on the board
- Duplication of comments
Most importantly, racist, sexist, offensive and abusive comments will not be tolerated.”
So when there is name calling, yet no contribution to the article, it should be deleted by N24. They fail in this regard. Eddy Deepfield and james.whyte and bruning regularly break this, yet no action is taken.
“11. Users are encouraged to report untrue, inaccurate, defamatory, illegal, infringing and/or harmful content available from the News24 web site to News24 and News24 undertakes to correct and/or remove such content or any part thereof if the person reporting such content provided reasonable grounds to prove the alleged nature of the content.
12.2 Users undertake not to post content to the News24 web site that may be illegal, defamatory, infringing, harassing, obscene, commercial advertising, personal marketing, profane, untrue, incorrect or harmful and News24 reserves the right to remove such content in terms of clause 11 above.
As part of our new system, we undertake to review any comment reported to us within 12 hours. We do, however, reserve the right not to delete a comment reported as abusive if we feel it has not contravened our terms and conditions.”
The abuse begins at the media. Chances are that the reason that comments are not deleted is that the people working at News24 at in fact the ones supporting atheism and antitheism. Surely they have their opinion, but at all times remain impartial…
I tried to submit a particular article three times, and not one response why it will not be placed. Comments are deleted at random. Our rights to freedom of expression disappeared when we started commenting on news24 and other media sites.