South Africans will now be able to buy insurance cover to help them if they make blunders on social media.
The new product is called a Social Media Liability Insurance Policy (SLip uP), which aims at helping those who might find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit for something they post on social media.
Simon Colman, Head of Commercial Solutions at SHA Specialist Underwriters, tells DRUM that the cover is largely for damage caused by inappropriate posts, particularly in instances that involve invasion of privacy and defamation.
Some people’s social media rants have landed them in hot water, like the notorious rants of KZN realtor Penny Sparrow and Judge Mabel Jansen which expressed racist views.
Celebrities such as musician Ntsiki Mazwai, sports minister Fikile Mbalula and rapper AKA are also notorious for their Twitter wars (or “twars”) with other celebrities. While these might not be racially motivated, they could fall under the category of defamation of character.
Under SLip Up, “defamation” is defined as wrongful and intentional publication of words or behaviour which damages the reputation of others, while “invasion of privacy” means the intrusion and unauthorised disclosure of someone else’s personal affairs.
Those who find themselves at the wrong end of the law can get up to R500 000 legal cover. However, Colman says the policy will not cover acts with racist, religious or cultural connotations.
“Parents can also obtain this to cover the actions of their children on social media, as children are often not aware of the real impact their digital footprint can have,” says Colman.
The product is an add-on to your existing insurance available for R8/month, and is already available through Sanlam Insurance.