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Facebook Sued Over Video Numbers -- Again

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on October 18, 2018 11:15 AM

Facebook grossly overstated the amount of time viewers watched videos on its platform, according to a new lawsuit.

It reportedly did not relate directly to paid advertisements, but could have misled companies into thinking Facebook was holding on to viewers longer than it was. The complaint says the social media company actually admitted it.

If you think you've seen this movie before, that's because you have. The plaintiffs are suing Facebook again.

New Complaint

According to reports, the inflated video views are way worse than Facebook claimed. In 2016, the company admitted a problem and dealt with it.

But that led to the new problem. In court proceedings, the plaintiffs reviewed about 80,000 pages of internal Facebook records. The plaintiffs say they discovered miscalculated metrics back to 2015.

"If Facebook had immediately corrected its miscalculation in a straightforward manner, advertisers would have seen a sudden and precipitous drop in their viewership metrics," the complaint says. "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."

Crowd Siren, an online marketing agency, alleges the defendant's "unethical, unscrupulous" behavior deceived advertisers. In a proposed class action in federal court in Oakland, the plaintiffs have added fraud claims.

"Unethical, Unscrupulous"

Facebook denied the allegations the first time around, saying they were "without merit."

"We told our customers about the error when we discovered it -- and updated our help center to explain the issue," the company said in statement.

The first time, however, Facebook said it overestimated viewing time by 60 to 80 percent. In the latest filing, the plaintiffs say it was more like 900 percent.

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