National 25.8.2016 02:03 pm

WhatsApp ‘vagina mom’ could sue the hockey moms

The logo of WhatsApp, the popular messaging service bought by Facebook, pictured on a smartphone in New York on February 20, 2014

The logo of WhatsApp, the popular messaging service bought by Facebook, pictured on a smartphone in New York on February 20, 2014

According to a legal expert, Margaret van Wyk could even sue the thousands of people who reshared the picture of her genitals, as they’re all technically cyberbullies.

Margaret van Wyk should be able to take legal action for cyberbullying after alleged pictures of her genitals were shared online and produced an onslaught of both humorous and very uncomfortable memes.

Van Wyk reportedly posted a picture of her genitals intended for her husband on a hockey mothers’ school WhatsApp group in North West, where she lives.

It then reached social media when one of the people on the group shared it.

ALSO READ: North West mom shares pic of privates on ‘school’ WhatsApp

It went viral quickly under the hashtag #MargaretVanWyk.

East Coast Radio spoke to a media expert from Shepstone & Wylie, Verlie Oozthuizen, who said that the person or people who reposted her accidentally sent message could face liability under the law, as they had “definitely infringed her dignity … and her privacy”.

He advised that, in her shoes, he would approach the police and lay a charge of crimen injuria “against the person who made the initial posting”. However, it would not necessarily stop there alone, as the thousands of people who subsequently reshared it could also face charges, though “down the chain it becomes less and less strong”.

He added that it might unfortunately then also drag out the matter and keep Van Wyk in the media spotlight for longer than she might like.

The law makes it clear that if you republish any statement or image that is slanderous, libellous or otherwise unconstitutional, you can still be held accountable for that, even though the publication of the content is second-hand.

However, added, Oosthuizen, the strongest claim would have to be against “the initial people that posted the picture”.

 

poll

today in print