Let me start by listing the 3 most recent cases that put Mzansi‘s social media in the spotlight for the same unpalatable reason – racist ranting:
- Ken Sinclair of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) was suspended on 7/05/12 for a Facebook mention that was posted about 2 weeks ago.
- Jessica Leandra dos Santos lost lucrative modeling contracts due to her k-word tweet posted on 3/05/12.
- Tshdi Thamana, who was bestowed an incorrect title of “another model” (if you believe this blog), was forced to eat a humble pie on 6/05 after responding to Jessica Leandra dos Santos’s racist tweet “in kind”.
Forget the fact that all the 3 cases happened in the last 3 weeks. Forget that all of the racist mentions were apparently published in the heat of the moment. Key thing is that all of them were about expression of personal opinions. However, there was adverse impact on professional lives of the social netizens involved. Let us be warned that the line is now blurred. The freedom to say what we want on social networks, has to be balanced with clear understanding of the possible far-reaching consequences involved.