This was announced a few days ago. And I would like to give some perspective before you read the official statement from MXit below.
MXit has been around for a number of years. And the media has enjoyed blaming MXit for everything from distribution of pornography to examination results dropping since its introduction. As a user of MXit on a daily basis, I found this tool to be one of the most revolutionary technologies ever created. The reason for this statement is that MXit truly provides a means of communicating without further enriching the mobile operators in South Africa.
So why did it take MXit so long to make this announcement? It does not matter any more. The importance of this announcement cannot be underestimated. When you are the leading technology in the mobile space with anywhere from 17 – 19 million users in this country, whatever stance you take will be taken seriously by other players in the same space. So what this statement below means is that other companies in the mobile Internet business will also have to make very serious commitments to fighting pornography and cyber criminals. More over, this statement, when it eventually filters down to parents and schools will encourage the prosecution of those who abuse the Mxit platform.
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MXit declares war on porn and cyber criminals
25 March 2010 – MXit today announced a zero-tolerance policy against offenders who abuse its online community. Anyone posting explicit or offensive material in public areas within MXit will from now on be banned from its systems without warning.
“For too long, a group of less than 0.1% of our user base has tarnished our reputation with their continual abuse of our community through unsavoury, and sometimes criminal, behaviour,” says Herman Heunis, CEO and founder of MXit.
“Until very recently, we had great difficulty in identifying and tracking these degenerates, but with new developments, we are now in a situation where they leave a definite electronic footprint.
“Our users’ right to privacy is, and will always be, of paramount importance. We have no intention of imposing censorship on communication between users as their privacy is a constitutional right, just like private communication via letters, SMS, MMS, e-mails and other mediums. However, when someone publishes offensive content or uses our platform to prey on innocent people, we shall remove them from our system.
“Furthermore, any suspicious behaviour indicating possible criminal intention will be handed over to the Cybercrime Unit of the SAPS as currently required by law.
“Our foremost responsibility is to protect our 19+ million registered user base that makes up our community, and as such, we will do everything in our power to identify these offenders and help the authorities bring them to book,” says Heunis.
“Lastly, I want to strongly urge users never to exchange personal information with strangers, and certainly not to meet them in person. Inviting strangers to be your friend on MXit, or any other social network for that matter, is exactly the same as opening your front door without knowing who is on the other side. It just isn’t smart,” concludes Heunis.
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