I would have loved to have seen this go to trial, but Facebook and the plaintiffs—a group of advertising agencies alleging they had been swindled by the social network—settled.
Excerpted from The Hollywood Reporter, ‘The suit accused Facebook of acknowledging miscalculations in metrics upon press reports, but still not taking responsibility for the breadth of the problem. “The average viewership metrics were not inflated by only 60%-80%; they were inflated by some 150 to 900%,” stated an amended complaint.’
Facebook denies this and settled for US$40 million, which is really pocket change for the multi-milliard-dollar company. Just the price of doing business.
Remember, Facebook has been shown to have lied about the number of people it can reach (it now admits that its population estimates have no basis in, well, the population), so I’m not surprised it lies about the number of people who watch their videos. And remember their platform has a lot of bots—I still have several thousand reported on Instagram that have yet to be touched—and Facebook itself isn’t exactly clean.
Every time they get called out, there are a few noises, but nothing ever really happens.
This exchange between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Mark Zuckerberg is a further indication that nothing will ever happen at Facebook to make things right—there’s no will from top management for that to happen. There’s too much to be lost with monetization opportunities for questionable services to be shut down, while Facebook is all too happy to close ones that don’t make money (e.g. the old ‘View as’ feature). The divisions and “fake news” will continue, the tools used by all the wrong people.
It’s your choice whether you want to be part of this.
"So, you won't take down lies or you will take down lies? I think that's just a pretty simple yes or no."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 23, 2019