Social media and social networking sites are a fantastic way to get people to express themselves. However, when one uses social media and other online sites, it is important to take note that there can be serious consequences even though there are no special laws which apply to social media, according to social media law specialist, Emma Sadleir.
Speaking at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Ms Sadleir warned of the dangers of, for example, giving too much personal information; accepting people as friends whom one does not know personally; and not using the highest privacy level settings, when she addressed the audience on Monday, 28 July 2014.
She accentuated that all social media posts, whether comments or photographs, are the equivalent of publishing it on the front page of a newspaper. “The person publishing or any person who forward, re-tweet or repeat the words or photographs, can be held liable for reputational damage or for any wrongdoing,” said Ms Sadleir, adding that prosecution could be pursued even outside the country of origin, as social media have no national boundaries. ”What might be legal in country, can be illegal in another country.”