Facebook Busted Artificially Inflating Video Views
Facebook lied about views by 150% to 900%. They caused media companies to go bankrupt resulting in the loss of jobs. Facebook gets away with a tiny fine and no acknowledgement of how they faked these metrics.
Another day, another example of the cesspool that is Facebook. It isn’t simply a coincidence that every time Facebook gets caught faking a metric it was benefiting the company financially. Facebook paid a record-breaking $5 billion fine as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission investigation of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This time, Facebook only has to pay a paultry $40 million dollar fine. That isn’t even a slap on the wrist as it is only about 0.18% of their annual income. Facebook will pay the fine without acknowledging any responsibility or culpability, as is to be expected of Mark Zuckerberg.
Advertisers sued Facebook in 2016 over user metrics that supposedly measured the average length of time consumers spent viewing posted video ads. The lawsuit said that the time was inflated by up to 900 percent and that helped convince advertisers to buy Facebook’s video advertising services.
Faced with claims of violating unfair competition law, breaching contract and committing fraud, Facebook contested advertisers’ injuries, questioning whether they really relied on these metrics in deciding to purchase ad time. In early rounds in the litigation, Facebook was successful in getting the judge to pare the claims, though until a settlement was announced, several of the claims including fraud were still live. Even after agreeing to pay $40 million for settlement, Facebook maintains the suit is “without merit.”
In 2017, approximately 98% of Facebook’s revenue was generated by advertising, euqal to about $39.9 Billion US Dollars. It has been reported that more than 50% of Facebook users are fake. That means that not only did Facebook generate revenue from over inflated video views, they are generating substantial revenue from fake users.