Advertisers have filed a lawsuit against Facebook

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 20, 2018

"The metric should have reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by the total number of people who played the video". Or, did the company purposely twist data so more advertisers will invest on its platform? The advertisers had initially filed an lawsuit in 2016, but Facebook documents released through the court process shined new light on the grievances. The small advertisers say the company's skewed numbers gave it an unfair advantage over its competitors, such as YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

"Facebook engineers knew exactly how the company was calculating its averages but did nothing about it for over a year", lawyers for the advertisers wrote in an amended lawsuit, according to CBS. Yet, it did not report or take action until mid-2016. The complaint goes beyond the obvious misleading, alleging that Facebook actively committed fraud by failing to correct the issue for two years despite knowing of its existence. Then, it partnered with third-parties to verify and measure its metrics.

Facebook said the calculations were fixed, and downplayed the importance of that metric. Tuesday's filing alleged that Facebook had instead inflated average ad-watching time by 150 percent to 900 percent.

In November 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reported that Facebook had 8 billion video views per day. The company chose to "obfuscate the fact that we screwed up the math" by quietly retiring the erroneous metrics and replacing them with corrected metrics under a new name.

A new lawsuit accuses Facebook of inflating ad-watching metrics by up to 900%.

Crowd Siren didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. It started receiving inquiries from advertisers concerned about video metrics as far back as July 2015, according to the Journal. Any error shown in a platform of more than two billion users will be a disaster.

A Facebook spokesperson however said the lawsuit was "without merit" and that the company has filed a motion to dismiss the claims of fraud.

When this was uncovered in 2016, Facebook claimed it had only recently discovered the error and told advertisers that it had merely overestimated the average viewing duration by around 60%-80%. Facebook makes up about 25 percent of United States video ad spending, according to eMarketer.

Whether Facebook reveals the true impact of video or where the errors lies still remains to be seen.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE