Yes, it could be seen as an infringement on freedom of speech but on the flipside many people do not seem aware that there is accountability for what one utters in public (the Internet being public platform). Where there is a lack of common sense I suppose legislation will guide. Freedom of speech is not absolute - propaganda for war, incitement of imminent violence (probably including public riots where property or people could be harmed), or hate speech against race, gender, disability etc are not "freedoms".
As the article points out though many "objectionable" utterances are not necessarily objectionable to everyone so I see many cases where these judgements could end up in the Constitutional Court, where they do need to be considered in the proper context.
But watching what gets discussed and promoted on the Internet over the last few years, unfortunately, leads one to realise that a lot of it is not positive or good, people do get harassed, and it is a pity that fake news itself does not seem to be outlawed (is that freedom of speech too?). I suppose fake news has a lot to do with what the intention was behind it, and what consequences flow from it. It was sad to see social media recently holding politicians to account for lower standards than ordinary citizens. We cannot allow "freedoms" to allow people to deliberately mislead others for their own ends. You may as well then allow stealing too for freedom of property.
But one thing we all need to realise is: With great freedom comes great responsibility and accountability too. So yes there may be controversy and as usual, the silent majority may remain silent...
#southafrica Ramaphosa signs Internet censorship bill into law
President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed off a number of major new laws – including the controversial ‘internet censorship bill’.