False Information on Social Media

Media statement issued by the South African Police Service

To: All media

SAPS warn against posting of false information on social media

Pretoria: 10 April 2018 – The South African Police Service has noted with concern various social media posts perpetuating false information. The current social media post going viral alleges that a woman arrested for public drinking was gang raped at a Mamelodi police station and subsequently passed away. This is completely untrue and the incident did not take place. The false and reckless allegations are rejected.

The post is regarded as very irresponsible and insensitive towards both the police and the communities we serve. It undermines the trust of the community in the police. We are urgently looking into this social media post to get to the source. The incident is viewed in a very serious light and the police will consider legal action on this matter.

Members of the community are encouraged to use social media platforms responsibly and sensibly when posting. It is important to realise that a communication of this nature is instantaneously spread to other persons. Users of social media must carefully consider the truthfulness of information before they decide to share it with other social media users.

According to South African law, it does not require a person to be the originator of the content of a communication to be held liable. The repeating or sharing a post is sufficient.

A person may be equally liable for another person’s posts where that person knows that they have been tagged in the other person’s post and allows their name to be used, and fails to take steps to disassociate or distance themselves from that post.

Enquiries: Brigadier Mashadi Selepe 060 997 5094

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