The outrage economy is eating public debate and dismantling community trust. So how to regulate it? How to ethically monetise it? Yesterday’s High Court decision took a stab at an answer.
It’s about how the Facebook algorithm has worked to degrade Australian media and how publishers have leaned into the FB model to support their traditional ad-supported businesses.
There’s a touch of comic absurdity in common law with the courts adapting a 1937 English decision about allegedly defamatory claims stuck up on a suburban golf club notice board to confirm that on Facebook, as on the worldwide web, the publisher is responsible for what’s on their page — including comments posted on their Facebook pages by third parties.