Social media has many evils. At the push of a button, a person’s reputation can be ruined, says the writer. Picture: Pexels

Pretoria - Revenge porn is probably as old as the hills. It’s only the technology that has changed. In the late 1990s, a well-known mayor of what was then known as Akasia was taken to court by his former wife. He had threatened to attach pictures of her breasts on trees.

She managed to stop this via an interdict to the then Pretoria High Court. He had to hand over the pictures and the negatives to her.

Times have not changed, only the method and the ease with which this can be done.

Social media has many evils. At the push of a button, a person’s reputation can be ruined.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba can attest to this, as an extremely compromising video of him has not only been circulated on social media, it has also made its way to a pornsite. The lesson here is not to have these compromising pictures or videos on one’s phone or computer, one would think. But the red lights often flicker too late.

This was the lesson a non-suspecting Pretoria woman learnt last week when the girlfriend of the man she thought she had a relationship with discovered naked pictures of her on his phone.

The scorned girlfriend in no uncertain terms voiced her anger when she discovered these pictures on his phone.

The estate agent girlfriend threatened to send the pictures “to everyone”, including the victim’s mother.

She demanded that the victim had to pay for the airfare to Cape Town the scorned woman’s boyfriend had paid for when he and the unsuspecting woman went away for a dirty weekend. She also demanded payment for a two-night stay in a Pretoria hotel by her boyfriend and the woman.

The pictures started off innocently enough, with a photo shoot of her in lingerie. The two-timing man sent her pictures of himself in wet underwear. The pictures became more daring as time passed until both sent each other naked pictures of themselves.

Fearing that the damning pictures would be released in the public domain, the woman turned to the court for help.

This was the same situation a member of the management of a hockey team found herself in. She had a relationship with a much younger team member. Her husband and family did not know about this until the young lover started circulating compromising pictures of them together. He boasted to his friend about the relationship, but unfortunately, the coach came to see these pictures and confronted the woman’s husband about it.

He rushed to court to obtain an interdict against the youngster, who had his computer and phone attached to ensure all pictures were deleted.

The much-publicised drama which surrounded the then headmaster of Waterkloof High in Pretoria, Louis Dey, also comes to mind. Three pupils digitally manipulated a picture of Dey and then headmaster Christo Becker to make it look as if they were sitting naked on a coach. The aim of the pranksters was to portray the two as “gay bodybuilders”.

Dey claimed damages from the trio. In a majority judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court, the culprits were ordered to pay Dey R25000 in damages for his injured feelings.

A cheating husband posted naked pictures of his lover on Facebook after she dumped him. A judge said: “The conduct of respondent (the man) spreads subordination of women in society. If not stopped, it will undoubtedly perpetuate the threat to self-determination of women in society. If you still have compromising pictures of your former lover and are inclined to flaunt it, best you hand them back because you are not entitled to them.”

Pretoria News