As Facebook is sued over inflated video metrics, shareholders call on Mark Zuckerberg to resign
Before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook announced it misled brands by overestimating the amount of time people spent viewing videos. On Tuesday, online marketing agency Crowd Siren filed an amended complaint against Facebook over its inflated video metrics and fraud.
Initially, Facebook stated they inflated the video viewership metrics by 60-80%. However, the amended lawsuit claims the metrics were overestimated by 150-900%, and that Facebook was aware of this issue but took no action to fix it. Plaintiffs claim this was intentional fraud as Facebook misled brands and advertisers into investing in the social media giant.
Bloomberg reports that Crowd Siren, the online marketing agency suing Facebook over the inflations, filed an amended lawsuit on Tuesday in Oakland, California in a federal court. The agency contends that Facebook directed advertising campaigns to deflect from the miscalculations as early as 2015.
The amended filing reads, “If Facebook had immediately corrected its miscalculation in a straightforward manner, advertisers would have seen a sudden and precipitous drop in their viewership metrics.”
Chris Conroy, a senior editor with DC Comics, explained on Twitter that the inflated metrics “had the DIRECT consequence of 90% of media orgs firing writers in favor of expensive video producers.”
If you missed it: today it was confirmed that Facebook massively & knowingly inflated its video-view statistics, which had the DIRECT consequence of 90% of media orgs firing writers in favor of expensive video producers, who also got fired when it turned out video was worthless https://t.co/WqdAUBIe6L
— Chris Conroy (@dyfl) October 17, 2018
Facebook told the Wall Street Journal in a statement, “Suggestions that we in any way tried to hide this issue from our partners are false. We told our customers about the error when we discovered it — and updated our help center to explain the issue.”
In the midst of the company’s privacy breaches, shutting down political pages, and fraud, the Independent reports that investors are calling on Facebook’s board of directors to ask Mark Zuckerberg to resign from the CEO position.
Trillium Asset Management stated in a press release, “Doing so is best governance practice that will be in the interest of shareholders, employees, users, and our democracy.”