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Facebook Is Offering Free Advice and Assistance to Businesses Impacted by Australian Bushfires



Here’s a Facebook initiative that’s particularly close to my heart – in fact, close to my house (I could see the flames at one point).

This week, Facebook has announced a new set of support measures for businesses impacted by the recent Australian bushfires, in order to help them make best use of the platform to get their operations back on track.

As per Facebook:

“Australia is going through a difficult time. Unprecedented bushfire events have taken a huge toll on communities across the country. If your small business has been affected by bushfires please [get in touch] and a Facebook Small Business Support Specialist will reach out to understand your business challenges and offer guidance and assistance.”

Facebook is offering a range of free assistance measures, including general Facebook business Page coaching and advice, one-on-one business consultation with a Facebook Small Business Support Specialist, and $200 in Facebook ad credits for those in the impacted regions.

In addition to this, Facebook will also be running a series of workshops in bushfire hit towns, in order to help “empower local businesses and communities with the digital skills to thrive online”.

Facebook bushfire assistance workshops

The workshops will be hosted by a member of the Facebook Community Trainer Network, and will cover everything from the basics of managing your presence online, to using ad targeting tools. The workshops will also include specific content for tourism businesses, in order to help encourage more visitors back to fire-ravaged regions.

This is particularly important for one of the hardest-hit areas – the south east coast of New South Wales is a popular tourist destination, and this year’s bushfires have decimated the economies of various local communities who rely on the holiday influx to survive.

More than 2,000 homes were lost in the New South Wales bushfires, with the Insurance Council of Australia putting the estimated damage bill at more than $700 million in property alone. And that doesn’t account for expanded impacted on farms, resources, and indeed, local businesses, nor does it factor in the ongoing human impact of the traumas local residents have faced. 


It’s good to see Facebook offering assistance to these towns, and making an effort to actually be present in the communities to provide direct advice and notes.

Businesses in bushfire impacted regions can fill out this form for more information.



UK eyes big TikTok fine over child privacy lapse



Image: – © AFP Kazuhiro NOGI

Britain on Monday warned it could fine TikTok £27 million ($29 million) over a potential failure to protect children’s privacy on the Chinese-owned video app.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said the social media company “may have processed the data of children under the age of 13 without appropriate parental consent”.

The ICO also found that the short-form video platform may have “failed to provide proper information to its users in a concise, transparent and easily understood way”.

The watchdog has served the group with a notice of intent — which is a legal document that precedes a possible fine — over the possible breach of UK data protection law.

“We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections,” said Information Commissioner John Edwards.

“Companies providing digital services have a legal duty to put those protections in place, but our provisional view is that TikTok fell short of meeting that requirement.”


In response, TikTok said it disagreed with the ICO’s provisional views and stressed that no final conclusions had been reached.

“While we respect the ICO’s role in safeguarding privacy in the UK, we disagree with the preliminary views expressed and intend to formally respond to the ICO in due course,” TikTok said in a statement.

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