We want to protect kids against revenge porn - publications board

2016-02-23 13:38

Cape Town – We want to protect children against revenge porn, the Film Publications Board told Parliament on Tuesday.

This after the board was questioned about whether it was within their mandate to deal with revenge porn, the practice of distributing private sexual photographs and films without concern from the individual featured.

The board, alongside the Communications Department, was presenting the films and publications amendment bill to Parliament’s communications committee on Tuesday.

The bill seeks to amend the Films and Publications Act by closing the gaps in online content regulation.

In terms of the proposed new law, no person may post private photos or films on the internet without consent, or with the intention of causing individual distress.

FPB Chief Operations Officer Sipho Risibi told the committee that it was their place to deal with revenge porn as they wanted to protect children from exposure.

They also wanted to protect the dignity of those depicted, or whose images were publicised, he said.

"You might have seen that this content is pushed through mediums like Facebook and Twitter, and children as young as 5, 6, 7 have access to this type of medium.

"For that reason, we need to make sure we punish people who are responsible for the distribution of this content," he said.

He said this was part of ensuring that one’s right to freedom of speech did not infringe on another’s right to dignity.

If passed, offenders could face up to two years in jail or a fine of up to R150 000.

African National Congress MP Maesela Kekana felt the punishment might be too light.

He said the penalty needed to set an example.

"R150 000 is not too harsh. Some people earn that in a week," he said.

He called for the punishment to be around R250 000, as well as up to five years in jail.

The bill would now go through public participation, the committee resolved on Tuesday.

Read more on:    internet  |  social media  |  parliament 2016

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