Australia Could Hit Facebook with Class-Action Lawsuit for Unconscionable Conduct Laws After Blocking News, Charities, and More
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Facebook has reportedly left itself open to a particular class-action lawsuit and might even face prosecution after there were hundreds of charities, groups, as well as government agencies pages were reportedly “unconscionably” caught up in the particular platform’s wiping out of Australian news content over the course of the week. In retaliation towards the federal government’s proposed new Mandatory News Media Bargaining Code, the popular tech giant had just blocked Australian users from being able to use news on Thursday morning.
Small businesses, charities, support groups were wiped out
According to a report from news.com.au, a lot of small businesses, charities, support groups, as well as public interest pages like the particular Bureau of Meteorology as well as state health departments were reportedly wiped out. This then prompted the former chair of Australia’s known competition watchdog to urge the popular social media juggernaut that they have to be cautious.
According to Allan Fels, the known chair of Public Interest Journalism as well as the former chair of the known Australian Competition and Consumer Commission noted that Facebook was actually not demonstrating their very own license to operate. It was then noted by Professor Fells that it is actually unconscionable for Facebook to totally limit access towards Australian Government information, whether it be health, weather, or even bushfire information.
ACCC notes they want to ensure an equal playing field
It was noted that it is not news, nor the content that was envisaged under the new Mandatory News Bargaining Code noted to seek to address quite a significant market power imbalance. It is reportedly the role of the government and the ACCC to be able to ensure an equal playing field.
Prof Fels then noted to The Daily Telegraph that the social media platform could actually face some legal action over their decision. It was noted that Facebook could actually be liable for possible breach of unconscionable conduct laws due to the sudden overnight cessation of its said services to businesses, especially the particularly small businesses that would require Facebook in order to disseminate their said product.
Read Also: Facebook Says Australia ‘Fundamentally Misunderstands’ Company’s Relationship to News: Bans ALL Australian News Posts
Facebook unconscionable conduct laws
It was noted that to withdraw the services just overnight in this particular fashion could actually put them in breach of their said unconscionable conduct laws which could even lead towards a class action. Prof Fels then noted that the digital platforms had actually demonstrated quite a lack of willingness in the past to negotiate along with the news organizations around the value of their particular content in the whole generation of digital advertising.
He then noted that the cost of producing public interest journalism is high, but it is still an integral section to the whole functioning of any particular working democracy. He then noted that they urge Facebook to actually take the time and to sit at the table in order to negotiate in good faith. The said Federal Treasurer known as Josh Frydenberg is reportedly expected to hold some further talks along with the network’s known founder Mark Zuckerberg some time this week, as a number of the non-news profiles still remain blank.
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Written by Urian Buenconsejo
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