South African police probe 'racist' image on Facebook

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Police in South Africa are investigating after The Sunday Times highlighted a "racist" image on Facebook. The photograph, showing an armed white man posing over what appears to be a dead black boy, first attracted controversy back in 2008.

The photograph in question

The new attention focuses on a Facebook profile going by the name Eugene Terrorblanche (a reference to Eugene Terreblanche), with the Sunday Times printing the image on its front page alongside a police appeal for information leading to the man's identification. However, some local media reports that police have known since 2007 that the image was staged and the child was paid to lie before the man.

Officials have noted the image may be in breach of the Children's Act, the Films and Publications Act and the Criminal Procedure Act; the account's 590 listed friends have been warned that South African law may hold them criminally liable for failing to report the picture if it is not posed.

Our correspondent was unable to locate the Eugene Terrorblanche account to confirm it is still on Facebook. Wikinews did find several Facebook pages in opposition to the profile; the most popular billed itself as an "antifanpage" against the man and had 1,939 "likes". One, with 523 members, called for the arrest of every friend of the Terrorblanche account.

Wikinews has contacted Facebook seeking comment on if they will divulge user identity information to South African authorities if requested to, and asking for confirmation the account has been removed. Officials of the social network have yet to respond.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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