This March, the Film and Publication Board gazetted the Draft Online Regulation Policy, which purports to regulate content on the internet in a bid “to protect children from exposure to disturbing and harmful material”.
While this sounds like a noble goal, social advocacy groups such Right2Know and the SOS Coalition have pointed out that FPB’s Draft Online Regulation Policy is effectively “the [FPB] attempting to give itself sweeping powers to police what we see, hear and say online”.
Muttering under your breath about the FPB‘s ominous proposal isn’t going to keep the internet free from censorship. With all of the public consultations having come and gone there are a few handy ways to get your voice heard and we recommend that you make use of them right away.
The FPB accepts submissions from the public directly via email@example.com or you can call them on 012 003 1400. You may also deliver your submissions marked for attention of Ms Tholoana Ncheke by hand at the FPB head office in Centurion.
The internet itself is a great place to make your views heard ahead of the 4pm July 15 deadline.
The Right2Know campaign website is leading opposition to the policy proposal and has a three month old online petition that has already seen 8000 supporters declare their resistance to the policy proposal. R2K also provides images you can download and use on social media as a profile picture or cover photo.
Public broadcasting advocacy group SOS Coalition is supporting another petition hosted on amandla.mobi. Close to a hundred people have added their signatures to the petition and you can add yours too.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called the online policy proposal “Africa’s worst new internet censorship law“. The Interactive Advertising Bureau has announced their misgivings . Add your voice and get your friends to tag along using #HandsOffOurInternet.
[Image: by CC 2.0/HowardLake]