CAPE TOWN – South Africans have been warned against spreading fake news about the COVID-19 vaccines.
On Friday, experts held a virtual address calling on government to rethink laws criminalising individuals for spreading false information saying COVID-19 has worsened the problem.
According to the Disaster Management Act, it is an offense if people spread fake news to cause harm.
However, some experts say that rule is too broad.
Tanveer Jeewa from the International Commision of Jurists, said, “We need to ask ourselves is it really the case of criminalising this kind of spreading information is going to achieve the aim that we want to. This is another perspective that I’d like to bring on is that I don’t necessarily think so.”
The webinar also highlighted the role of tech companies and how they could help to stop with the spread of fake news.
Panelists have called on government, the public and civil society to work together to fight misinformation.