The New Wave Report

The New Wave Report

The report was produced by the Network Society Project. In 2012 one third of South Africans used the Internet. The report examines their use of mobile phones and PCs, the impact of data costs on use and the role of social media. It is based on a survey of a representative sample of over 1,500 South African adults interviewed face to...
Choosing Internet Tools

Choosing Internet Tools

Sometimes it is about the tech Report We researched how South African and Kenyan organisations are using the Internet and mobile technologies in improving transparency and accountability. The question we aimed to answer is how did they choose the right tool for the job, and did they choose well. The research was done with The Engine Room foundation and the Pawa Initiative in Nairobi. The project is funded by Making All Voices Count. Read the full...
Censorship of online content: paternalism versus parental guidance

Censorship of online content: paternalism versus parental guidance

Over the last century, as mass media expanded across the world and entered into most homes, many countries have used laws and regulation to limit children’s exposure to, for example, violence or sex. South Africa has a set of media regulations designed to protect children. These include restrictions on broadcasters that bans content deemed unsuitable for children until after 9pm. Distributors of cinema films must submit their films for age classification before they are shown in cinemas. Broadcasters also label programming. But as parents know, many children now access content online. So what role should the state play in controlling or even advising what they can or should access? The South African Film and Publication Board (FPB), which regulates cinema and video distribution, has published draft regulations for classifying content online. They extend the system that applies to cinemas to all “commercial” content published online. Realising that this is a very ambitious undertaking, the regulations propose that the board does not carry out the classification alone. Rather, it should co-regulate with internet publishers or distributors. It proposes that all “distributors” of online content must register with the the board and then undertake to establish a system of pre-publication classification following the same rules the board uses. For a libertarian, there may be no better example of the nanny state than regulations that seek to give government a role in this aspect of child rearing. But there is some evidence from from other countries that parents really do want help. Research conducted in 25 European countries shows that around one-third of parents worry about their children seeing inappropriate content online...