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Suing Facebook Pointless, Blocked Media Outlets Warned

Publications blocked by Facebook’s blanket Australian media ban shouldn’t bother suing the social media giant for loss of income, warns a tech lawyer.

Many news outlets, including tech lifestyle publication EFTM.com, have lost valuable audience numbers thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s cruel and unusual punishment, which is in protest of the government’s News Media Bargaining Code.

But even if the outlets have spent money with Facebook, pursuing legal action would be a pointless exercise, lawyer Martyn Taylor from Norton Rose Fullbright told The Australian Financial Review.

Taylor warned the terms and conditions of Facebook means it is nearly impossible to successfully sue it.

“The expense of suing a large corporation with vast resources, when you’re a small media company, would make it very difficult to do,” he said.

“Facebook would not want to set a precedent and so it would probably keep on appealing, so [publishers wishing to sue] would be in for a difficult road.”

EFTM.com publisher Trevor Long told the publication he spent $3500 with Facebook in 2020 to boost content to followers.

Long said he conducted a test to see if Facebook would still accept money to boost traffic to his Facebook page even with the ban – and low and behold it did.

“I will never spend money with Facebook again,” Long said.

Publishers are instead focussing resources on generating traffic through emails and newsletters.

Publications banned from sharing content on Facebook include major news sites News.com.au, the Sydney Morning Herald and even the government-owned ABC.

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