A NEW TYPE OF CRIME – THE SHARING OF FAKE NEWS
Fake news are stories which appear in the news, whether televised or written, or social media which is spread from an unreliable source of information to people.
We are currently caught in the storm of a international pandemic and news is spread so easily through social media. In South Africa, it a criminal offence to spread fake news via social media or any other form of media.
The Disaster Management Act, which is enforced in South Africa during this pandemic, applies to all South Africans, whether they are a natural or juristic person. This act can and may also limit our Constitutional Rights such as the Right of Freedom of Speech.
The right to freedom of speech is not an absolute right and may be limited in terms of Section 36 of the Constitution and in terms of any other legislation. The reason for this limitation, during this pandemic, is to prevent the spread is incorrect information and prevent chaos.
There have been instances where well-known corporations, including shops and newspapers, spread fake news and were under scrutiny of the public to correct the information. These corporations were indeed fined and some had to give back to the community who were affected by the false news.
Should you require facts and information about the Covid-19 pandemic, visit: