Social media: careful what you tweet

2013-02-22 00:00

BE careful what you tweet about the Oscar Pistorius murder case.

Legal experts have warned people who make defamatory comments on social media that they could face lawsuits or even criminal charges.

They said comments attacking Pistorius’s honesty and integrity could have consequences: charges of crimen injuria or a suit for defamation.

Lawyer André Grobler said emotions were running high. “Even if Pistorius shot her, that doesn’t make him guilty or a murderer.”

Lawyer Dr Llewelyn Curlewis said there had been cases in South Africa where people had been criminally charged over defamatory things they had said on Facebook.

“It is safer to keep your comments to yourself and not participate in gossip.”

Because of Pistorius’s huge international profile, any damage to his reputation was greater than for an ordinary person, he said.

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