Twitter racism piles on the pressure for SAHRC

The commission said complaints about racist posts make up 20 percent of the cases it deals with.

FILE: The Twitter spat between Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr & puppet Chester Missing over controversial statements about race made headlines in 2014.

JOHANNESBURG - As the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it's receiving more and more complaints about racism on social media with people involved in arguments about race on Twitter saying the anger is a part of our society.

Yesterday, the commission said that complaints about racist posts on social media now make up 20 percent of the cases it deals with.

Social media strategist Jodene Shaer says the conversations in South Africa are different to the Twitter discussions in other countries.

"There is not the same amount of negativity and volatile debate that happens between each other."

Rhodes University history lecturer Nomalanga Mkhize says some comments get a very strong reaction.

"Anything remotely critical of white South African privilege or white history always solicits a very extreme and a very angry reaction."

She says these discussions happen mainly because anyone can participate on Twitter and their messages are not mediated.