The use of social media platforms has become an almost universal pastime in the last few years, but understanding just how the comments made on any platform may be viewed is the subject of a growing movement known as Woke Twitter. The movement has become well known in South Africa after three Facebook and Twitter users were charged with criminal offenses for racist comments made Online; activists from the Woke Twitter movement have been credited with bringing the comments to the attention of police and social media owners. One of the areas the rise of the movement has challenged is that of the right to free speech, which has prompted many legal experts to enter the case and question how the South African constitution can be viewed.
Legal expert Brenda Wardle is well known throughout South Africa as one of the best known lawyers in the country who has worked in a number of different areas of law. Over the course of her career Wardle has written a number of detailed papers and books explaining specific areas of law, which have also come into use as industry standards.
The author of a semi autobiographical novel has now stated her view that the Twitter comments degraded the reputation of an entire race of people within South Africa; Brenda Wardle believes the right to human dignity has overcome any questions of free speech that may be brought up during the court cases the three face. Brenda Wardle believes the idea that an individual has the right to say what they like under free speech laws should not infringe on the rights of the majority they live alongside.
Social media has changed the way people live their lives in the 21st century, but the self policing by groups like Woke Twitter makes it more difficult for offensive material to make its way Online. The movement has been linked back the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the U.S., but has now spread around the world as politically aware social media users are looking for discriminatory comments from the comfort of their own homes. These social media users are completing an important act in making sure the Online world remains free of extremist attitudes.
Watch Brenda Wardle discuss the Pistorius Trial