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
Money makes the world go 'round (but sex makes it spin!)

Money makes the world go 'round (but sex makes it spin!)

Bruce Whitfield interviews "Dr Eve" Wasserman about her attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc).

Earn peanuts? How to best invest very small amounts...

Earn peanuts? How to best invest very small amounts...

Got a spare R200 or R300 a month? Here’s how to make that money work hard and grow…

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

Once homeless CEO Frank Magwegwe opens up about his money hopes and fears

Once homeless CEO Frank Magwegwe opens up about his money hopes and fears

What does the wealthy executive who once lived on streets, selling fruit, believe about money?

How to make your first million

How to make your first million

Warren Ingram discusses his new book in which he shares practical ways for ordinary people to achieve financial freedom.

What does Phuti Mahanyele (Forbes Businesswoman of 2014) hope for... and fear?

What does Phuti Mahanyele (Forbes Businesswoman of 2014) hope for... and fear?

Each week Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money. Enter the powerful Phuti Mahanyele...

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?