Government has advised South Africans to be aware of fake news websites that seek to distort and publish inaccurate information in the form of credible news.
Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting Director General Donald Liphoko said: “South Africa has a thriving media landscape and in this digital era people have access to content wherever they go. However, the trend of satirical news websites presented as a credible news source misinforms society on key issues and prominent figures.
“This genre of reporting is detrimental to those involved and also detracts from key issues which can be harmful to the citizens and the country as a whole. Such websites aim to communicate false news in an attempt for citizens to further share it on social media”.
Social media users are urged to be cautious when sharing news via social media platforms from sources that are not credible.
Liphoko said government calls on all South Africans to curb the spread of news emanating from spurious websites by not sharing it.
“It is the responsibility of all South Africans to protect the media industry and in particular the news that we receive as an audience,” he said.
The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002 states that Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has a mandate to shutdown websites that are not credible.
Therefore, members of the public are encouraged to approach the internet service provider directly to lodge a complaint.