New porn policing legislation is confusing, says social media lawyer

Emma Sadlier, Social Media Lawyer, discusses the ramifications of Film and Publication Board publishing the final version of its Online Regulation Policy on its website aimed to police user-generated content and content of a sexual nature.

Sadlier welcomes the objectives behind the legislation, but says the process is flawed.

I think it would be generous to say that this new policy is not a model of clarity. it is very confusing.

Emma Sadlier, social media lawyer

Sadlier says there are two pieces of law being dealt with.

The first is the Film and Publication's Act Amendment Bill, which is winding its way through Parliament at the moment. There are many people making submissions. The deadline for submissions is next week.

Emma Sadlier, social media lawyer

And that squarely includes the criminalisation of revenge porn...which means that if anybody exposes through any electronic media a private sexual photograph or film, without the consent of that person who appears in the content, and with the intention of causing that person distress, they can be prosecuted. It is a criminal offence.

Emma Sadlier, social media lawyer

The penalty will be a fine of up to R150 000 or two years in prison.

The second issue being dealt with is the draft Online Regulation Policy. Film and Publication Board says it approved this last month and it is on its way to the minister. They are calling for submissions for this as well.

The second issue being dealt with in law is the draft Online Regulation Policy. The Film and Publication Board have approved this and it is on its way to the minister with submissions being called for.

Truthfully, it is very difficult to reconcile the policy with the Amendment Bill, and I would say they are putting the cart before the horse a little bit, because the policy should come after the Bill and give clarity to the Bill rather than happening at the same time.

Emma Sadlier, social media lawyer

Sadlier believes the policy is premature and it is therefore not legally sound to publish it.

She says the objectives are legitimate - protecting minors, criminalising child pornography and limiting the exposure of children to pornography.

But it seems like they are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Emma Sadlier, social media lawyer

She does not think that prior classification of what is or is not pornography, is the way to go about this.

I'm thrilled that we are finally going to criminalise this revenge porn, and that we can arrest these terrible humans that share intimate photographs at the end of a relationship, or where they have hacked into computers.

Emma Sadlier, social media lawyer

But Sadlier believes this law will be in the wrong body of legislation. It should be housed under the Sexual Offences Act, so as to afford victims proper protection mechanisms.

Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

Britain recorded the worst prison riots in 26 years after 600 inmates at a prison in Birmingham embarked on a 12-hour riot.

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Traffic authorities have arrested more than 3 000 people for various traffic offences, with drunk driving as the leading offence.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Popular articles
Getting to know MP, Dr Makhosi Khoza

Getting to know MP, Dr Makhosi Khoza

Dr Khoza is admired by South Africans for her role in the SABC inquiry as a ANC member of parliament.

10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

Interested in sexting but worried about the risks? Dr Eve has created a guideline to help you 'sext' in a fun and responsible way.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Makhabane says Ncwane was feeling weak yesterday and his wife phoned paramedics to check on him.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Michiel le Roux speaks about the fascinating story behind the little bank that has the Big 4 shaking in their boots.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will pilot a new funding model in 2017. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana explains.