WASPA a ‘Key Partner’ in the Battle Against Harmful Content

Published on: 19th February 2019

The Film and Publication Board (FPB) believes South Africa’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) is a key partner in the country’s fight to protect citizens from the scourge of harmful content online.

This emerged from a recent workshop collaboration between the FPB and WASPA aimed primarily at improving the skills of the WASPA personnel at the sharp edge of the fight against child pornography and other illegal content that cannot be marketed via mobile telephones.

FPB attendees included representatives of the classification board’s Child Protection Unit, amongst others, while WASPA’s media content testers were accompanied by the Association’s General Manager and compliance staff.

WASPA’s compliance department is mandated to monitor the local WASP industry in an independent, objective and transparent manner. Any conduct by members that is not in compliance with the WASPA Code of Conduct is documented, reported and escalated for immediate remedial action. This ensures that consumers are protected at all times and that mobile content and services in South Africa are provided in line with the required provisions of the WASPA industry Code.

“Our training workshop with WASPA was the latest in a series of ongoing collaborations between the FPB and industry in the fight against harmful and illegal content that has the potential to damage the social fabric of this country,” said FPB spokesperson, Mrs Lynette Kamineth.

According to WASPA General Manager, Ilonka Badenhorst: “It’s a badge of honour for WASPA to be so highly regarded by a government organisation with such a vital mandate. The FPB does a sterling job, with few resources, when it comes to protecting society’s most vulnerable members from harmful content.”

The workshop featured presentations on the case law around restricted content versus adult content, the challenges around content takedown and ensuring compliance, child developmental stages and the classification of content related to children.

“When it comes to child pornography, WASPA is absolutely committed to acting as an extra set of eyes and ears for the FPB. We will assist the Board in fulfilling its anti-child porn mandate and we’re pleased to be regarded as a key stakeholder,” said Ms Badenhorst.

“WASPA is interested in the longevity of the local mobile content and applications industry and continues to work with organisations like the FPB to ensure we are doing all we can to provide consumers with appropriate content while simultaneously acting as a further resource in South Africa’s fight against harmful online and mobile content,” concludes Ms Badenhorst.

For more information about WASPA, visit https://waspa.org.za/. For more information about the FPB, visit http://www.fpb.org.za/.