According to Emma Sadleir, media law specialist and co-author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, a Facebook status is legally the same as a newspaper story.
“The fallacy is that content online is treated distinctly in any way from content in the real world, so what we’re really dealing with is the situation that a Facebook status is treated in the eyes of the law in exactly the same way as if that article was published on the front page of the newspaper,” Sadleir said on the kykNET breakfast programme, Dagbreek TV.
Sadleir said people are slow to realise the consequences of their online activities. Co-author of the book, Tamsyn de Beer, added that when you take naked pictures of yourself and store them in digital format, the risk exists that the pictures will go into the cloud, your phone could get stolen, or you could become a victim of revenge porn.
Watch the interview:
After the commercial break the authors discussed trans-border issues with publishing content on the internet and the regulations of the internet. They spoke about laws that have been developed over hundreds of years that now have to catch up with technology where they are being applied. De Beer explained the concept of defamation of character and how it applies online. “Our law applies where we have publication to one other person, so whether it’s on a Whatsapp group of five people or to a Facebook page with 500 friends or to a Twitter following of five million, the consequences are the same,” De Beer said.
Watch the second part of the interview:
New from Penguin, Random Kak 2: Living, Loving and Laughing in South Africa by Trevor Romain:
The hugely popular Trevor Romain is back with more random memories about growing up in South Africa in the 70s and 80s.
In this follow-up to Random Kak I Remember about Growing Up in South Africa, he offers a humorous and unique take on some of the sights, sounds and experiences that have made living in this country so inspiring. Remembering what it means to be South African has never been as lekker as it is in this illustrated memoir of a colourful past.
About the author
Trevor Romain is a best-selling author and illustrator of an award-winning series of self-help books for children, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker. Romain was born and raised in South Africa and is currently based in the USA where he hosts a popular television series. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been published in 16 different languages.
Ilse Salzwedel het met Esté Meyer-Jansen van Maroela Media gesels oor haar boek oor die Oscar Pistorius-moordsaak,Van sprokie tot tragedie in die kollig.
Salzwedel het aspris nie die gevalle held se naam in die titel gebruik nie: “Vir my is dit die essensie van die saak, die kern van die saak. Dat hierdie twee jong mense, daar was al die elemente van ‘n sprokie in hierdie verhaal en toe word dit oornag ‘n tragedie, letterlik in die middel van die nag.” Sy sê Reeva en Oscar kon Suid-Afrika se Posh en Becks gewees het, maar toe “raak dit skielik ‘n moordsaak”.
“My boek is nie afhanklik van die hofsaak nie,” sê Salzwedel en verduidelik wat haar benadering tot hierdie ware verhaal anders maak as die talle ander boeke. “Dis glad nie ‘n herhaling van wat jy op die TV gesien het nie.” Sy fokus ook veral op die media se (dikwels negatiewe) rol in hierdie saak.
Luister na die potgooi:
Marguerite Poland chatted to Nancy Richards on SAFM Literature about her new novel, The Keeper.
Poland said the story first occurred to her when she was just 14 years old, inspired by a schoolmate who gave a talk about being the daughter of a lighthouse keeper: “It was an absolutely riveting talk, not because of what she did, but the sense of isolation and desolation that came through. It wasn’t romantic, it was just so different.”
The author says the story stayed with her for many years before she decided to write The Keeper.
“It was not writing about a place as much as a state of mind,” she says. “I wanted to get into what would it be like to be that isolated.”
The conversation starts at 10 minutes:
Penguin and The King’s School would like to invite you to a presentation by Philip Haslam and Russell Lamberti, authors of When Money Destroys Nations.
Haslam and Lamberti will be discussing how global money printing affects ordinary people.
The presentation will be at The King’s School Robin Hills on Monday, 27 October at 6:30 for 7 PM.
Don’t miss it!
Welcoming guests to Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer’s launch on Wednesday, Love Books owner Kate Rogan said Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex is the book she’s been waiting for.
As the mother of “digital natives” (as the glossary describes people who grow up with social media) Rogan acknowledged the difficulties of explaining to them the consequences of overstepping the boundaries on social media. She mentioned the example of Paul Chambers, whose story appears in Chapter 2: “If it’s not on Facebook it didn’t happen”. He tweeted his frustration with travel delays from an airport in 2010, ending by saying he would “blow the airport sky high”. Two years of lawsuits followed. Rogan described the book as sassy, witty and an enjoyable read, despite the seriousness of the subject matter.
Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex was written by Sadleir and De Beer, two South African lawyers and friends, both of whom have Master of Law degrees from the London School of Economics, specialising in media law. They now do educational work with companies, schools and universities on the responsible use of social media. They consult on defamation, privacy, data protection, revenge porn and online reputation management.
Sadleir noted how dramatically the way we communicate has changed in the last few years. When she was at school (not so long ago) the only way to be heard was to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper: “Nowadays everyone with access to the internet has instant global power”. But people need to understand the laws and the delicate balancing act between freedom of expression versus the right to privacy and dignity, Sadleir said.
De Beer explained that the book contained four key sections. The first deals with the law, privacy and intellectual property. The second is a common sense section, from which they chose the title for the book. One of the examples used here is that of a young woman whose then partner filmed them having sex without her knowledge. Five months later, after they had parted, this sex video appeared on porn-sharing web sites and mentioned her name and the company where she worked. Her only recourse was to change her name. This section also has chapters dealing with online dating and what happens to your information when you die.
The third section concerns social media in the business world and the workplace. Sadleir mentioned the case of a first-year candidate attorney who loaded a photo of her desk on Facebook, showing the pile of work she had. Unfortunately the names of two of the firm’s top clients were visible on the top of the pile. British Airways emerged as an example of a company who sends CVs of all job applicants to a company who specialises in digital clearances. There are serious consequences to breaching your company’s good faith, which extends to its clients and your colleagues as well. Sadleir cited the case of a woman who was involved in a road accident and loaded three photos on Facebook with the caption, “F*****g K****r Taxi …”. She happened to work for a prominent company and was fired by 10 AM. Another casualty was the woman who tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Only kidding, I’m white.” She was met by a hostile “lynch mob” at Cape Town International Airport.
The fourth section deals with children. Parents are often too quick to give their children powerful communication devices without the tools to keep them safe. De Beer mentioned the dangers of cyber-bullying and how anonymity allows a greater degree of malice, which is permanent and inescapable. It is also much more public and has led to children committing suicide. This section also mentions “sexting”, where children as young as nine are sending nude pictures to each other. The law regards this as pornography and a 17-year-old was recently convicted for doing this. The reputational harm this causes cannot be undone, the authors pointed out.
There are new laws coming into effect, such as the Protection from Harassment Act, which can provide some online protection, and sites like justdelete.me give step-by-step instructions about how to delete online content. However, the authors advise that anything posted online should be treated “like a tattoo”. There is no “untweet” button. There is the potential for anything to go viral. In the digital age, everyone is a celebrity and every potential employer is Googling you. “Apply the billboard test”, Sadleir said. “If you don’t want everything you post online to be seen on a billboard on the side of the highway, don’t post it.” As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says, “Privacy is no longer a social norm.”
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Emma Sadleir, social media consultant and co-author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, spoke to The Guardian about the consequences of Oscar Pistorius trial being broadcast live on television.
Sadleir had a slot on the 24-hour DStv channel that covered the trial, in which she answered viewers’ questions, sent in through Twitter. She says she was surprised how little South Africans knew about their legal system: “People asked the most rudimentary questions: Where’s the jury? Who is that sitting next to the judge? For me it was incredible to see people’s reactions to what was going on, to see justice being done. Before this they’d only see it in Hollywood movies.”
She also speaks about her experience with the “Pistorians”, vehement supporters of the former Paralympian.
Juries were abolished in South Africa in the 1960s and so there was no risk of jurors being swayed by the cacophony of voices. Instead it was a free-for-all for journalists, pundits and anyone with an opinion and internet connection. There was plenty of humour, with spoof Twitter accounts and rap songs featuring Nel and Roux. There were also the “Pistorians”, an international, mainly female group who fiercely champion the athlete and often lash out at his critics.
Sadleir, co-author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, was among those who felt their wrath. “The trial has been an illustration of everything good about social media and an illustration of everything bad about social media,” she said. “It was one of the most seminal moments in our legal history. As an educational thing it has been absolutely brilliant. It is a natural extension of open justice and will set a precedent.”
Economists Philip Haslam and Russel Lamberti have shared important lessons that cannot be ignored in their recently published book, When Money Destroys Nations.
Together Lamberti and Haslam look at how hyperinflation ruined Zimbabwe’s economy, explore how ordinary people survived the financial crisis and offer warnings for nations mimicking Zimbabwe by printing money to cover debt.
The book trailer, shared below, offers a short summary of When Money Destroys Nations with an animation of Zimbabwean citizen John, who, after his country started printing money, was left poor and destitute.
Watch the video:
“Vandag voel ek ek het ’n tweede kans gekry. Ek gryp dit met albei hande. Die gigs rol in. Toere na Amerika en Australiё is reeds beplan. Die boek maak deure vir my oop wat ek nie geweet het bestaan nie. Ek is gelukkiger as ooit.”
Só het PJ Powers onlangs by die Prins Albert-bekendstelling van haar memoir Here I Am, geskryf saam met Marianne Thamm, gesê. Marlene Malan het die geleentheid bygewoon en nie een nie, maar twee artikels daaroor geskryf.
Die eerste een het vroeër in September in Die Hoorn, ‘n koerant vir al Oudtshoorn en die Klein Karoo se mense, verskyn. Die tweede artikel is Sondag deur Netwerk24 geplaas en bied meer besonderhede van die bekendstelling. “Sy het die mense vergewe wat haar ingeloop het, wat haar nie aanvaar het soos sy is nie. En sy het haarself aanvaar. Sy weet wie sy is, wie haar vriende en ondersteuners is,” skryf Malan.
Lees die artikels:
Sy vertel met humor dat haar “talent vir liedjies skryf saam met my hare en my stem gegroei het”. En so ook haar seksuele bewussyn, dat sy tot vroue aangetrokke is – iets wat in haar jongdae ’n taboe was.
Vandag weet sy wie sy is, sê sy. “Ek het Penelope Dunlop, die groot, onaansienlike meisie, agtergelaat. Dan was daar PJ Powers, die luide vrou wat gefloreer het op adrenalien en die kollig. Maar daar is ook die een van wie ek die meeste hou – Thandeka, wat in die Jabulani-amfiteater in Soweto gebore is, wat onvoorwaardelike aanvaarding en liefde in die stukkende townships van ’n oorloggeteisterde land gevind het.”
PJ Powers, een van Suid-Afrika se bekendste rocksangers, is al 40 jaar op die voorgrond in ons musiekbedryf. Haar musiek verraai dit egter nie, haar styl verraai dit nie én haar voorkoms verraai dit nie.
Trouens, sy’s mooier as op 17 toe sy dié mededingende omgewing betree het. Weg is die los klere wat moes bedek. In die plek daarvan sit sy netjies in swart jeans. Weg is die “groot” hare van die 1980’s – nou rond ’n pikante kapsel haar af.
Op 54 is die selfvertroue wat sy uitstraal nie uitdagend of ’n muur waaragter sy wegkruip nie.
Van alle plekke kies sy toe Prins Albert in die Wes-Kaap om Here I Am bekend te stel, wat die teenoorgestelde is van die grootkonsert-arenas waaraan sy so gewoond is.
In ’n knusse restaurant stap sy en haar bestuurder-lewensmaat, Yvonne Johnston, in.
Tamsyn de Beer, one of the authors of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex, spoke to Sue Grant-Marshall on her Radio Today show, Reading Matters.
De Beer says that she and Emma Sadleir tried to make the book fun and readable, while giving solid legal advice.
Grant-Marshall says that the title is an odd and arresting one. De Beer says it was supposed to be a bit quirky and tongue-in-cheek, but the book also contains serious, vital information. The book is dedicated to a young woman who was the victim of internet sharing so malicious that she had to change her name in order to escape it.
De Beer says that when it comes to potentially harmful personal content on the internet, prevention is better than cure.
Listen to the podcast: