Tough sanctions to act as a deterrent to malicious online content

The draft law aims to regulate videos and content online, including on social media networks.

Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) have been told that tough sanctions will act as a deterrent to so-called "revenge porn", hate speech and racist slurs on the Internet.

Parliament's portfolio committee on communications was briefed today on the Films and Publications Amendment Bill.

The draft law aims to regulate videos and content online, including on social media networks.

The Bill bans revenge porn, where a jilted lover posts intimate pictures of their former partner on the internet.

Anyone found guilty of distributing such material could be fined up to R150,000 or two years in jail.

Those found guilty of distributing content that advocates hatred or incites violence may face similar sanctions.

Communications department Acting DG Munzhelele Norman said, "We need sufficient sanctions which will deter people from doing what they are currently doing. Because we are about building this nation."

Concern has been raised that the Bill, as it stands, could chill free speech.