The recent spate of femicide cases in South Africa has sparked social media users to name and shame their alleged offenders online.
New Twitter accounts such as @AmINext_sa, @HSurvivers3 and @helpsurvivers, have been 'exposing' alleged rapists by posting their names and pictures after receiving messages from women.
However, this could backfire on them. Media experts say that this practice can lead to prosecution.
Media Monitoring director Willam Bird says the accused people have every right to pursue charges of criminal defamation.
The simple rule to remember is that just because you get on a social media platform doesn't mean that the standard rules that apply in the real world don't apply there too.— William Bird Director at Media Monitoring Africa
Unless you can prove that something is true, you can be sued for defamation and they can also lay a charge of crimen injuria.— William Bird Director at Media Monitoring Africa
And retweeting is not ok either.
Please bear in mind that if you retweet that, they can take similar legal action against you too. The thing of saying retweets are not an endorsement doesn't have legal value.— William Bird Director at Media Monitoring Africa
Bird says staying truly anonymous on the internet is not easy.
As much as those things are anonymous they are not some sort of protection.— William Bird Director at Media Monitoring Africa
Listen to the full interview below...
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : You can be sued for naming and shaming alleged rapists on Twitter