Could Rachel Kolisi stand to face a lot more than social media backlash after her Instagram meltdown?

Rachel and husband Siya Kolisi
Rachel and husband Siya Kolisi

Yesterday, Twitter was once again abuzz with various commentary after Rachel Kolisi shared on an IG story her anger towards one woman she alleges sent her husband, SA rugby captain Siya Kolisi nudes.

In the clip, Rachel not only called out the young woman, she posted her social media handles, name, picture and also tagged places where she works or has visited to exercise.

READ MORE: Revenge porn: Why do people feel the need to humiliate others by posting their nudes on social media? 

This morning, however the woman in question responded to all the allegations claiming that Siya Kolisi had actually DM'd her, her own "offending" photo first, which was actually a photo that she had originally posted on her own Instagram profile.

Read the whole thing unfold in the tweets below.

It is also alleged that Rachel has since apologised to the woman and since deleted her Instagram account.

Last year September, the Kolisis found themselves trending on social media after Rachel called out a young woman for calling her husband "uBaby"

Rachel responded to the post with an emoji of a plastic and straw which implies that she thought the woman was being thirsty, asking the public to to "respect her and her marriage".

And as they usually do, Twitter users and trolls alike shared their opinions on the arguably over-protective and insecure way she deals with her marriage.

READ MORE: Rachel Kolisi vs 'black Twitter': no, “snacking” on Siya is not an option

Read some of the tweets below.

One user commented "You have every right to stand up as a woman and not be disrespected in that manner Rachel! I support your cause and believe you do not deserve being treated in that way #Respect #RachelKolisi"

While some users highlighted the fact Rachel should never have posted the picture of the young woman or her name or place of work. 

"Rachel need to stay out of social media, especially with her problems cause this will just hurt and break her more than the situation she's in, she's married to a hunk sport man, women will throw herself at him and he will run after skirts too it's easy 4 him". [sic]

While we all know that sports, Hollywood and all other kinds of stars are heavily pursued, but that women should expect their partners to cheat because of this is a dangerous and problematic assumption to make.

However, taking to social media to address personal problems has always been a sure recipe for disaster. While it's understandable that occasionally emotions get the better of you, there will always be repercussions to your actions.

Not only are you opening up your relationship or personal life to endless scrutiny, you may place yourself in danger of (as could be in this case), being legally implicated in defaming someone.

READ MORE: One of SA's youngest female cardiologists who was bullied about her revealing outfit has laid a charge of crimen injuria

There are serious implications involved when you post another person's photos/name and place of employment on social media with the intention to cause harm. We've spoken to social media law expert, Emma Sadleir previously about revenge porn, social media and defamation.

According to Emma in this article about revenge porn, there are two pieces of law that are currently before Parliament that "will criminalise the non-consensual distribution of images and videos."

The first one is the Films and Publication Amendment Bill as well as the Cyber Crimes Bill, "both of those pieces of law will make it [revenge porn] a specific crime," she adds. 

Whether the image that Rachel posted of the young woman would be considered revenge porn would likely not stand up to the test especially since the woman had herself posted that same pic on her own account before she deleted it. But doxing (identifying information about someone with malicious intent) or defaming someone is another ball game.

READ MORE: Have we become obsessed with a culture of online shaming?

Since these bills have not yet been passed as law though, people who are victims of revenge porn have the following legal remedies available to the them:

Emma says that you can lay crimen injuria charge against the person for seriously infringing on your dignity. "It is the same charge used in extreme racism cases like Vicki Momberg," she explains.

If someone has your nudes and they are threatening to leak them, you can get a protection order against that person using the Protection from Harassment Act or if you have been in a domestic relationship with someone you can get a protection order under the Domestic Violence Act. 

You can also sue the person for damages by opening a civil suit.

We are sure that Rachel is learning that social media is hardly ever the correct place to communicate problems in a relationship and should be handled privately between the parties involved.

Interestingly, just this week, Monica Lewinsky sat down with John Oliver to discuss public shaming. Monica believes bullying has worsened, saying "I think that with the advent of the internet, and of course social media, we now have situations where it's exasperated beyond what anybody could have imagined."

READ MORE: This insurance company is giving women cyberbullying cover as SA's current trolling crisis worsens

She goes on the say, "The anonymity that comes with that, that sort of unleashed these whole new personas of people."

We should all pay more attention to how we respond to others.

In another previous article about how social media can affect relationships, motivational speaker and author of Why Are You Getting Married, Bheki Zungu, said that it is imperative that couples have boundaries when it comes to social media.

“All the negative issues and developments like disagreements, fights etc, must be kept completely out of social media, and dealt with privately”, he stated.

“When things are not going well, and they are put out there on social media, they remain there even when the couple has resolved their issues. If bad stuff has been said, not all of it can be retracted from the Internet."

READ MORE: To post or not to post? Your relationship and social media

That said, it cannot be entirely confirmed purely by observation that this social media furor is a case of revenge porn, but rather it is a cautionary tale to others about defamation and the implications thereof.

Do you think that Rachel Kolisi's reaction was justified? How do you think she could've better handled the situation? Share your views with us here.

* At the time of publishing this article, we were unable to reach Rachel for comment.

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