Media release

Government advises public to guard against fake news websites

07 October 2016

6 October 2016

Government advises South African citizens to be aware of fake news websites that seek to distort and publish inaccurate information in the form of credible news.

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.

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,” said Liphoko.

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.

Donald Liphoko
GCIS Acting Director-General
Cell: 082 901 0766

Issued by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

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