Social media force Facebook knew it was inflating metrics on video to advertisers by up to 900 percent, for more than a year, according to a new class action lawsuit. The social media giant is being accused of outright fraud, but the effect has been much more widespread than just misplaced ad dollars. It’s impacting the way news is gathered and distributed, and it’s all been based on what is being alleged to be a big, fat lie.
Yep, Facebook is back on its bullshit.
Using the inflated numbers, Facebook convinced publishers and advertisers to flock to its platform. Advertisers poured dollars into Facebook video believing it was being watched far more than it actually was, and publishers fired rooms full of writers and journalists in favor of video production teams, in an effort to meet advertiser demand, that wasn’t actually there.
“Facebook’s internal efforts behind the scenes reflect a company mentality of reckless indifference toward the accuracy of its metrics,” the lawsuit alleges.
Journalist Matt Pearce summed up Facebook’s impact on news gathering in the U.S. beautifully in this tweet:
1. Facebook eats into the audiences of traditional news orgs
2. Offers metrics showing that media orgs can get massive viewership on Facebook videos
3. Media execs lay off huge numbers of writers to pivot to video
4. Except Facebook’s numbers were FAKE
5. UNIONIZE YOUR NEWSROOMS https://t.co/OTVgpJXtE6
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) October 17, 2018
The lawsuit comes amidst news investors are taking measures to try and oust Mark Zuckerberg as Facebook Chairman.