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  • Summary date: Apr 17 2023 - View Summary

    Establishes the NC Task Force on the Fair Publishing of Crowd-Sourced Reviews (Task Force). Specifies that the purpose of the Task Force is to (1) study the practices of platforms publishing crowd-sourced reviews, (2) study the relationship between those practices and the public's ability to accurately assess businesses, and (3) recommend initiatives appropriately compliant with federal law but that are tailored to needs and goals of North Carolina consumers and businesses. Sets forth the following five areas that the Task Force is required to examine: (1) the substance and ordering of reviews published by a platform as compared to the substance and ordering of reviews submitted to the publishing platform; (2) the correlation, if any, between revenue received by the platform operator from businesses and the substance and ordering of reviews for those businesses as compared to other businesses reviewed on the platform; (3) the ability of business owners to request and acquire from the platform contact information for reviewers leaving negative reviews; (4) the financial cost to North Carolina businesses and consumers of any publishing practices the Task Force deems unfair and the comparative projected impact of implementing fairer practices. Specifies that the Task Force must give particular attention to the costs and projected impacts for North Carolina small businesses; and (5) feasible steps the State can take to encourage or require fairer publishing practices.

    Specifies that the Task Force consists of 13 members, including two cochairs, and details appointment authority. Requires the Legislative Services Commission (LSC) to grant adequate meeting space to the Task Force in either the State Legislative Building or Legislative Office Building. Requires the LSC to assign the Task Force professional staff to assist it in its work as well as to take funds appropriated to the NCGA that are sufficient for the operation of the Task Force.  Provides for clerical staff and authorizes the Task Force to contract for professional, clerical, or consultant services. Provides for subsistence and travel expenses for Task Force members.  Requires the Task Force to submit a final report on the results of the study and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the NCGA by May 1, 2024. Specifies that the Task Force will terminate on May 1, 2024, or submission of the final report, whichever is earlier.