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Op-Ed: Extremely tricky unique court case for Meta, Facebook might clarify online legal advertising issues



Facebook parent Meta says its was told by Russian authorities to stop the work of its fact-checkers

Facebook parent Meta says its was told by Russian authorities to stop the work of its fact-checkers – Copyright AFP Charly TRIBALLEAU

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has thrown a palette of legal bricks through one of the more complex legal issues on social media. The ACCC alleges that Meta engaged in “false, misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing scam advertisements”.

(These ads include a secondary issue; the use of celebrity images on scam ads. That’s been previously covered. This article is intended to focus on the macro issues affecting social media. There’s a civil case filed by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest which includes allegations of money laundering, and related problems.)  

These are all serious enough legal problems without the use of the word “scam”. The ads related to cryptocurrency scams, add some more depth and difficulty.

If you’re thinking this case is the entire bandwidth of grim, expensive legal issues for social media advertising, you’re right. It’s just that this case is far more complex than it looks. “False, misleading, and deceptive conduct” is pretty much the entire spectrum of advertising law Thou Shalt Nots.

False advertising is of course illegal. Misleading and deceptive conduct are also illegal with added upside on the subject of how publishing online ads works.

Then there’s the scams issue. Online scams are at plague levels worldwide. This case plugs in directly into just about all aspects of that big messy situation. This is where “false, misleading, and deceptive conduct” turns potentially criminal.

There’s, therefore, a lot at stake for advertisers, social media, and the public. ACCC is doing its job as a regulator, targeting a unique combination of major online advertising issues in extraordinary depth. This is effectively a test case. ACCC’s public statement regarding the case is interesting reading and includes some consumer advice.

Meta/Facebook’s problems

One of the biggest issues for Facebook is advertising. This is Facebook’s core revenue base. It’s tricky enough without scams, and decidedly thankless as an advertising environment.

Online advertising is a farce. It’s burdened with payment systems, absurd algorithms, and the rest of the dung cart of techno-self-hyped garbage that doesn’t work. It rarely reaches audiences. Facebook is arguably a bit better than most, because the users are voluntary platform-dwellers.

These users might actually be interested in products and services. They’re online on a continuous basis. Ads aren’t directly search-related. Facebook is a more efficient form of “passive SEO” in some ways.

… This is why this case is so important. It strikes directly at Facebook’s major legal and revenue issues. It directly affects the user base and user legal issues.

It shouldn’t be assumed that Facebook is necessarily happy with the way things work. Facebook is a flak magnet for criticism on so many issues related to its algorithms, ads, and scam issues.

Much of the criticism is unrealistic and staggeringly myopic in legal terms. This is social media. Social issues naturally impact the world’s biggest social media platform. Facebook didn’t invent the social environment; it reflects it, all too well, sometimes. It’s often like blaming the phone company for a crank call, but not the caller.

Can Facebook vet all ads for content issues? Probably not. It’d be horrendously expensive. Online advertising isn’t usually done under oath, either. How do you fight crime with a social media platform? You can try, sure, but what’s possible has to be considered.

Ironically, the case might also give Facebook some useful legal options, win, lose, or draw. Facebook is not a law enforcement agency. Its best and by far simplest option is to distance itself from legally dubious content with its Terms of Use. Any content which is deemed unacceptable can simply be refused or trashed on that basis. No comeback.  

The main difference here is that managing ads can be done at the back end, not the live content end. Ads could be refused on any given basis, and terms reflecting Facebook’s absolute final say in what’s published and what’s not are unarguable.

Global ramifications

The truth is that the law follows its own logic, right or wrong. This case will create either ripples or waves throughout the global regulatory and civil legal environment. Even the huge regulatory coma in the US could benefit from some findings in multiple areas.

The regulatory environment needs direction. Online law is still way too slow and well behind most of the common legal issues. This case could be a nice catchall reference for a lot of online legal problems.  

Civil law is far more volatile, with highly motivated people’s cases creating very subjective, limited legal precedents on a routine basis. This is unavoidable and sometimes beneficial, but a wider frame of legal reference would definitely clarify some issues. (This is similar to “So you’ve been hit by an underage drunk driving a train in a supermarket” in civil law terms.)

The world needs a clear legal framework to manage the online scams, civil issues, and above all the liabilities of social media for commercial content. Nobody’s likely to celebrate this court case, but maybe you should. This could clean up a lot of content and conduct which is long overdue for eradication.

Facebook could shut down a huge amount of possible legal trouble for itself and lose problem advertisers as well. The wider social media environment could benefit a lot from a safer and simpler online advertising environment.

It can be a win-win, done properly. This is definitely not the time or place for “trial by media”. The legal issues must be considered and done well. With a bit of luck, the world may benefit hugely from this case.



The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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