“Revenge Porn” is Officially Illegal in South Africa

There are new revenge porn laws in South Africa, as the country officially follows the likes of Israel, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan by criminalising the distribution of sexually explicit images or videos without someone’s consent.

This comes after President Ramaphosa signed amendments to the Films and Publications Bill into law, which will further clamp down on hate speech, the dissemination of child pornography and “revenge porn”.

For those not in the know, “revenge porn” refers to the sharing or distribution of any nude or sexually explicit material of someone without their permission or consent with the express purpose of humiliating or “getting back” at them. Victims may now lay criminal charges against anyone who distributes or shares this material on social media, in text messages, via any electronic communication or on pornographic websites.

Anyone who breaks the revenge porn laws in South Africa and is found guilty of sharing or distributing revenge porn will face time behind bars or will be fined. If the victim can’t be identified in the content, the perpetrator could face two years in jail and/or pay a fine of up to R150 000. However, if the victim can be identified in any way, the perpetrator could spend four years in prison and/or pay up to R300 000.

Over the last few years, South Africa has undoubtedly become stricter about what is acceptable and legal to post online. For example, if the Cyber Crimes and Cyber Security Bill, and Prevention of Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill) are signed into law, it will become a criminal offence to spread harmful or bigoted messages online.

To stay on the right side of the law, check out 4 Things You Should Never Post on Social Media in South Africa.

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