Facebook blamed for writers losing jobs due to inflated video-view metrics

Facebook blamed for writers losing jobs due to inflated video-view metrics

That complaint stemmed from a Wall Street Journal report in September 2016, that revealed Facebook had been overstating the average time its users spent watching paid video advertisements.

"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.

The latest allegations arose out of a lawsuit that the advertisers filed against Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook in federal court in 2016 over alleged inflation of ad-watching metrics. It said that the company has filed a motion to dismiss the fraud claims. "We told our customers about the error when we discovered it-and updated our help centre to explain the issue".

The plaintiffs reviewed an estimated 80,000 pages of internal Facebook records that were obtained via the court proceedings.

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Facebook already faces a loss of consumer trust and a damaged reputation resulting from the Cambridge Analytica crisis that emerged early this year (as well as a data breach just a few weeks ago). However, by discarding shorter video views, the company also arrived at higher average watch times. Apologising for the error in a blogpost, Facebook said: "As soon as we discovered the discrepancy, we fixed it". While Facebook maintains that it didn't affect billings, advertisers claims that the inflated data made them purchase video ads and pay more to Facebook, and focus less on other available options. If advertisers were more widely aware of this fact, and in particular, if they knew that their advertisements were among those that were not drawing viewers' attention, they would be less likely to continue buying video advertising from Facebook.

Internally code-named "Ripley", the device would use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically detect and follow people as they move through the frame during a video call, news website Cheddar reported on Tuesday. Then, it partnered with third-parties to verify and measure its metrics. Many industry experts believe that Facebook's continued growth is closely correlated with its ability to convince advertisers that users are really watching a growing amount of video content.

Facebook did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment. It started receiving inquiries from advertisers concerned about video metrics as far back as July 2015, according to the Journal.

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