Lately there have been many cases all around the world where people are liable to fines or even jail time for posting defamatory things on social media. And it looks like South Africa is no exception.
A woman from Pretoria and her husband have subsequently been ordered to pay R40 000 in damages to the husband’s ex-wife after the couple defamed her on social networking site, Facebook.
Their case wasn’t a small one either; it was heard in the Pretoria HIgh Court, where Judge Jan Hiemstra ordered the woman – who used her Facebook account – to pay the large amount of money to her husband’s ex-wife.
The ex-wife took her ex-husband and his new wife to court after the husband’s current wife posted defamatory things about her on Facebook, and then proceeded to tag her husband.
According to court documents, one of these defamatory posts read: “To all moms and dads… what do you think of people who allow step-brothers to bath their little sisters each night, simply because it would make the mother’s life easier???”
An interesting twist to this tale (and a caution to many) is that the husband was ordered, along with his new wife, to compensate his ex – even though he did not post any defamatory messages from his account.
Judge Hiemstra said in his conclusion that because the husband was tagged in the defamatory posts, he therefore allowed his name to be coupled with what his new wife had said, and thus, contributed to the offense.
This just proves, once again, that posting mean and defamatory things on any social media platform is unacceptable. With laws around social media content becoming stricter, it might be best to keep your negative feelings to yourself.