Social Media

Polela’s Controversial Tweet Slammed

According to a comment published on The Citizen website, rape in South African prisons is a terrible reality that has severe consequences for the psychological and physical health of victims.

Rape is not a subject to be treated lightly, least of all by anyone representing any section of our criminal justice system.

The comments follow an incident in which spokesperson for the crime fighting unit, The Hawks, McIntosh Polela, tweeted that, “I trust that Jub Jub’s supporters gave him a jar of Vaseline to take to prison.

Lifeline Launches Mobile Chat Counselling Service

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness month in October, Lifeline has expanded its counselling services to include an online option.

The new mobile chat counselling service, which is being sponsored by Mxit, is expected to target and reach people between the ages of 12 to 29 - an age group which is very familiar with Mxit.

“This is exciting news for our nonprofit counselling organisation as it opens up a whole new world for our callers - especially those who cannot afford a telephone call,” explains Janet King, acting director, LifeLine Johannesburg.

Microsoft Unveils a Facebook-Friendly E-mail Service

Microsoft has unveiled a revamped, Facebook-friendly version of its free, online e-mail service in an attempt to reverse market share losses to Google's fast-growing Gmail.

The world's largest software company is renaming its Hotmail service Outlook.com, giving it a sharp new look, social network links and new features for handling the tide of junk and mass mail that swamps many users.

Hotmail was still the world's largest online mail service as of June, according to the latest comScore figures available, with 324 million users, or about 36 percent of the global market.

Facebook Group to Launch NGO

The Facebook group, Fight Crime in Gaborone, which was initiated to raise awareness about crime-related issues, intends to set-up as a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Official spokesperson for the group, Phenyo Motlhagodi, explains that ‘Fight Crime in Gaborone’ was formed as a pressure group to ensure that government prioritises on issues that affect the public in relation to crime.

Complaints Over Racial Remarks on Social Media

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it has received a flood of complaints relating to recent racial remarks on Facebook and Twitter.

The Commission says such remarks have the potential to violate provisions of the Constitution and the Equality Act.

HRC chief executive officer, Kayum Ahmed, says this trend is disturbing, especially in light of the many workshops and dialogues that they have hosted on hate speech countrywide. Kayum warns that giving voice to racist views in the name of freedom of expression is not acceptable.

School Cell Ban ‘Impossible’ – NASGB

The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) has called on schools across the country to focus on their academic programmes and not allow pupils to concentrate on social media on their phones during class time.

NASGB general-secretary, Matakanye Matakanye, points out that, “Children spend more time on Facebook, Twitter and other chatting sites, while not paying attention to their teachers during lesson time.”

In the same vein, the Federation of Associations of Governing Bodies warns that it will be very difficult to ban cellphones in schools.

Swaziland Plans to Ban Social Media

Swaziland is planning a censorship law that will ban Facebook and Twitter users from criticising its ruler, King Mswati III.

Justice Minister, Mgwagwa Gamedze, points out that, "We will be tough on those who write bad things about the king on Twitter and Facebook. We want to set an example."

Gamedze states that once Swazi people cross the border to neighbouring countries, they begin to go on a campaign to disrespect their own country and king.

More Social Media Platforms for South Africans

With the popularity of social media platforms continuing to grow, South African users should brace themselves for more and more players in the market, according to Trevor Neethling.

Neethling argues that Google raised its stakes in the battle for South African social media users with the launch of its Google+ platform in isiZulu and Afrikaans last week.

He further says that in the same week, Yookos, an ‘Africa-specific’ social media network, announced its entry into the space, claiming six-million users across the continent.

South Africans Prefer Cellphones Over TV

South Africans spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching television or listening to the radio, according to a Mobile Media Consumption survey.

In a press statement, mobile advertising network, InMobi, points out that on any given day, mobile web users spend 30 percent of their media time on mobile devices, 29 percent on television and 20 percent listening to the radio.

Presidency Uses Social Media Ahead of SoNA

The Presidency says that President Jacob Zuma will use social media to find out what is troubling South Africans ahead of his State of the Nation address on 9 February 2012.

In a press statement, it says that this year, his social networking has expanded to include Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.

Last year, Zuma used Facebook to encourage ordinary citizens to speak directly to him and to highlight the needs of communities.

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