Facebook to pay $40m for inflating data on video ads

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook will pay $40 million to settle a class-action lawsuit for incorrectly calculating average viewing time for video ads on its platform.

Advertisers sued the social networking platform for overstating video-viewing metrics over an 18-month period from 2015-16, which led the advertisers paying extra for video ads based on the inflated data, market Watch reported on Monday. The legal battle began in 2016. According to the company, it discovered the issue only a month before going public with it. “The tech giant had only counted video views that lasted at least three seconds, ignoring those of shorter durations and artificially pushing the average length of a view higher,” mentioned the report.

Some Facebook competitors like Snap are reportedly helping the US Federal Trade Commission as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant’s business practices.

In a historic judgment, the US FTC in July slapped a massive $5-billion fine on Facebook over users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, along with the US SEC directing the social networking platform to pay $100 million penalty for making misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of user data.