File photo.

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi has called for responsible social media use after a series of unsavoury posts on Facebook and other social media platforms were shared recently.

In a statement, Thusi said she was shocked to see a picture on social media of a man posing with a child in a sexually provocative pose. 

"The picture of the child is disturbing and makes you wonder what kind of a person would take such a picture. The man, who then indicates a desire to have sex with the child makes you wonder what he would do if he were to meet the child. It also makes you wonder what he is doing to other children around him. Child abuse is not a joke, it is a serious concern in our province and country,” Thusi said.

She further expressed concern about other recent incidents of social media being used to commit crimes.

“Social media is a platform created for people to socialize, but in recent years we are seeing it become a platform used by criminals to prey on innocent victims. From women being lured on the promise of jobs only to be robbed and raped, dissemination of content amounting to hate speech to people posting evidence they should be handing over to police. It must all end. I am pleading with social media users to take into consideration social cohesion and nation-building in their interactions,” she said.

Thusi urged parents to keep an eye on the content being accessed by their children on social media platforms.

“Unfortunately, policing social media and the internet is a tough job, but parents can assist by delaying their children access until they are old enough to appreciate any harmful content they come across,” she said.

Gus Silber, a social media expert recently told the Daily News that a few individual opportunists would get onto social media with ulterior motives.

“Social media is not censored, hence individuals abuse it. The balance though is that, in my view, social media does bring the best of constructive arguments as opposed to those with destructive minds,” he said.

Daily News