You may have heard about the South African Film and Publications Board’s proposed Draft Online Regulation Policy. Or you may have been living under a rock.
The Policy is aimed at regulating online publications and hold publisher and internet service provider responsible and have been strongly opposed by the Right2Know campaign, among others. As with all new legislation, the Policy has been going through the processes and have finally reached the stage where the public can make comments and recommendations regarding its validity and effectiveness. The Regulations have been open for public comments via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or hand delivered to the FPB’s Head Offices since it was published in the Government Gazette in March 2015 and will remain open until 15 July 2015.
This evening (28 May 2015) you can attend the public meeting hosted by the FPB at Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg to comment on the Draft Online Regulation Policy. The meeting starts at 5pm and is expected to last two hours.
About The Draft Online Regulation Policy
The Policy is essentially aimed at preventing child pornography and to prevent children from being exposed to adult content by classifying online publications. Online publications are defined in terms of the Policy to include:
- Personal Websites;
- Facebook; etc.
In terms of the Draft Online Regulation Policy online publishers will be required to ensure that their content does not violate the Policy. We reckon the policy is impractical and with insane amounts of content being uploaded constantly it seems near-impossible that the FPB will be able to enforce the terms of the Policy.
The Right2Know campaign considers the Draft Online Regulation Policy to “amount to censorship and is a violation of freedom of expression” and aims to have the Policy scrapped.
About the FPB
The FPB is a South African public entity that was established in terms of the Films and Publications Act. The FPB aims to regulate “the creation, production, possession and distribution of certain publications, games and films by means of classification, the imposition of age restrictions, and giving of consumer advice, and further makes the use of children in and the exposure of children to pornography punishable“.
The FPB is of the opinion that the digital age has increased violations and crimes against children, and has particularly increased child pornography, trafficking and groom with the intent of luring children.