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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

SA elections 2024: What you can and can’t post on social media [VIDEO]

Violations of election regulations can lead to severe penalties, including fines or imprisonment.

With just a day left before the May 29 elections, every post, like, and share carries significant weight.

Navigating social media on election day requires a delicate balance between freedom of expression and electoral integrity.

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There is a noticeable buzz around South Africa’s seventh national and provincial elections, which is expected to be the most closely contested polls in South Africa’s 30 years of democracy.

Here is some advice from a cyber security expert on what you can (and can’t) post on election day:


  • The big no-no on election day is posting an image of your marked ballot paper. The secrecy of the ballot is central to the integrity of the electoral process and sharing how you or anyone else has voted violates this principle.
  • Another taboo is social media campaigning on election day. Posting content that could be seen as an attempt to persuade voters on election day is prohibited. This includes sharing political campaign material, party slogans or anything that promotes a specific party or candidate.


  • You are free to share a photo of your inked thumb on election day along with hashtags like #IVoted or #ElectionDay – it is a great way to show your civic pride.
  • Posting factual information on how and where to vote, provided by the IEC, is also encouraged as long as your posts don’t sway how others should vote. Just be mindful of who features in the photos you share on social media so that you’re not violating anyone’s right to privacy.

ALSO READ: WATCH – SA Elections 2024: Be wary of deepfakes and disinformation

Fake news

Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa, said people also need to be careful about fake news.

“Trust nothing you see trending on social media, even if it sounds and looks real,” she cautions.

Be wary of content that seems designed to elicit a strong emotional response. If you are unsure if the news is real or false, there are several useful sites to help cross-reference election information, such as Africa Check and Padre. Also, report fake news directly to the social media platform for immediate removal.

“It’s important to approach information with a critical eye and confirm its accuracy through multiple sources before believing or spreading it,” Collard said.


Collard warns that deepfakes are also a worrying trend.

“These hyper-realistic videos created using artificial intelligence make it appear as though a politician is saying or doing something they’re not,” Collard states.

She urges users to critically evaluate the credibility of posts before sharing them.

With the Electoral Act and the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) shaping the legal framework for elections in South Africa, the boundaries of online expression are also clearly defined.

“Being mindful of these legal boundaries and grasping the consequences of your social media actions are important as these may influence the electoral process,” warns Collard.

ALSO READ: Elections 2024: How Facebook and WhatsApp’s owners plan to stop misinformation


Violations of election regulations can lead to severe penalties, including fines or imprisonment.

“Taking a photo of your marked ballot may invalidate your vote if it compromises its secrecy,” Collard cautions. Beyond legal repercussions, there is also a risk of public backlash and harm to your reputation.

The IEC monitors social media for violations during elections and may use online evidence for prosecution.

“The widespread sharing of such images on social platforms can escalate the offence and increase the chances of detection,” she added.

ALSO READ: Google supporting election integrity in South Africa