The Sunday Times reported that social liability cover was launched in South Africa this week. Insurance companies have officially started offering protection against losses you could suffer from defamation posts, a new product called social media liability cover.
Emma Sadleir, a social media law expert, warned that the insurance is not a cure for potential defamation suits one could encounter over social media posts, though. According to the report, the insurance product will not cover religious, racial or cultural slurs. Sadleir went on to say that there is a lot of craziness on social media that people have started turning to the law for help. Sadleir also said that taking out the insurance with the hope of protecting yourself if your child made defamatory comments on social media was not the way to go.
“Raise your children better,” she said but added that litigation is expensive.
“The damages relating to defamation are relatively low in South Africa, but where the costs come in are the legal fees.”
The report also highlighted a recent case where a South African businessman sued his neighbor for R1.3 million in the High Court in PTA for defaming him on Facebook. The man’s neighbor called him perverse on Facebook after he complained about her “chickens and hordes of rabbits in a dirty and small cage next to his wall.” The lady was ordered to apologize, but the case still continues.
In South Africa, children have civil capacity from the age of thirteen years, allowing them to be sued for defamation. SHA Specialist Underwriters was the company listed as offering the social media cover.