Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 10-09-2019
A social media law expert has told Radio Islam that people who share Whatsapp or Facebook messages showing violent events taking place, if fake, could be prosecuted.
Government issued a stern warning on the use of social media to spread fake or other news in an attempt to get a grip on the xenophobic crisis sweeping across the country.
Police acted on this warning and arrested a man in KwaZulu-Natal for inciting violence against foreigners, urging people to attack them and their businesses following a post on Facebook that listed the establishments that should be targeted.
Wylie Attorneys Verlie Oosthuizen says social media users should be careful about they share or forward online.
“If they are true though, you obviously shouldn’t be sharing violent images on social media. Media outlets and journalists have quite a strict code of conduct, which governs the way they deal with those kinds of ethical dilemmas. Obviously, people are just normal Facebook users or social media users aren’t really aware of those kinds of ethical considerations.
Listen to the interview with Verlie Oosthuizen
At the same time, esteemed Islamic scholar Ml Ahmed Akoo says Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was very clear about spreading news that has not been verified.
He says Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said it is sufficient to brand a person a liar simply because that person has the habit of relating everything that comes to their ears.
“The Prophet (SAW) was referring to the spoken word, but definitely in the context of the modern world we are living in, it would be sufficient to say looking at that narration of the Prophet (SAW) that it is sufficient to brand a person a liar who forward every single message that they have received.”
Ml Akoo says Allah has reminded people in the Qur’an that when any news or information is received by a person, it is the duty of that person to verify it whether it is correct or incorrect before sharing it or informing others.
Listen to the interview with Ml Ahmed Akoo