Facebook Accused Of Luring Advertisers With Fake Statistics Which Were Inflated By Up To 900 Percent

Facebook faces a lawsuit.
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The scandals at Facebook seem to have no end; a new amendment on an old lawsuit has been made against the social media giant. The new allegations purport that Facebook inflated video ad metrics by up to 900 percent, which lured advertisers and misled them, detailed The Mercury News.

In simple terms, Facebook told advertisers that users were watching video ads at a certain rate. However, the rate that Facebook told the advertisers could have been falsely increased by 900 percent, thus making people believe the results of their campaigns would be more successful. This was part of the filing.

“Facebook’s internal efforts behind the scenes reflect a company mentality of reckless indifference toward the accuracy of its metrics.”

The new filing also calls the alleged actions many things, including “unethical, unscrupulous,” and “likely to deceive” advertisers. Moreover, the filing comes as part of a 2016 federal lawsuit that similarly accused Facebook of inflating ad metrics. Back then, Facebook claimed that the allegations were “without merit.”

However, Fortune detailed how the giant “admitted” to inflating average viewing times by 60 to 80 percent by only accounting for users that watched ads for longer than three seconds. That means that anyone who only watched an ad for zero, one, or two seconds would not be factored into the average viewing times. However, that is a misrepresentation, since a true average should account for all users who watch the video.

One of the issues that the filing points out is that Facebook did not take the correct action after learning about the inflation in metrics.

“If Facebook had immediately corrected its miscalculation in a straightforward manner, advertisers would have seen a sudden and precipitous drop in their viewership metrics. They also would have seen that they had spent considerable money on past advertising campaigns that were not enjoying anywhere near the average viewership that Facebook had represented.”

An expert, Brian Wieser, had the following comment according to AdAge.

“No one is blaming Facebook for actively seeking to mislead. But it does seem awfully convenient that it’s always in their favor whenever there’s a mistake.”

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, users have learned a lot more about the social media giant and the way that they’ve harnessed data to sell advertisements.

And in midst of all of the legal drama, Facebook is still forging ahead with their latest evolution, which is selling a device called “Portal.” It is intended to help people stay better connected on Facebook, although it’s already been revealed that it could be a huge data mining tool for the company.