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Facebook inflated video-viewing metrics for two years

Knowing how popular videos are is critical for advertisers to know what works and what doesn’t,according to the newspaper, a new metric is being introduced to correct the problem.

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FILE - A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. Yahoo

Sept 27,2016: Facebook has revealed, it overestimated the amount of time people spent on the site watching videos over the time period of two years.

“We recently discovered an error in the way we calculate one of our video metrics,” the company said in a statement. “This error has been fixed, it did not impact billing, and we have notified our partners both through our product dashboards and via sales and publisher outreach.”

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One ad buying firm, Publicis Media, told The Wall Street Journal that the social media behemoth overestimated the amount by between 60 and 80 percent, calling the problem “unacceptable.”

Knowing how popular videos are is critical for advertisers to know what works and what doesn’t. Traffic metrics also drive ad pricings. According to the newspaper, a new metric is being introduced to correct the problem.

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The problem stemmed from what Facebook called the “average duration of video viewed,” which sounds self-explanatory, but the social media giant was not counting views of fewer than three seconds. This drastically inflated the numbers.

Facebook has said it fixed the issue, but Publicis says the problem shows the need for third-party verification of Facebook metrics. (VOA)

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Private Firms Shouldn’t Censor Politicians, News: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump's campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform

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2020, Facebook
FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Defending Facebook’s policy of not removing political advertisements containing false information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that a private company should not be censoring politicians and news.

Challenged on CBS over the policy, Zuckerberg said “people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians”.

The policy has faced criticism from several quarters due to concerns that ads containing false information may spread misinformation and distort elections.

“What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments,” the Facebook CEO was quoted as saying.

While demands for reconsidering the policy emanated even from within the organisation, Zuckerberg did not commit to any changes.

Mark Zuckerberg. (Wikimedia Commons)

While Twitter has banned all political ads, Google last month announced new restrictions on such ads.

The Internet search giant put new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

Also Read: LinkedIn Visualizes 20 Times Growth in Coming 10 Years in India

The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level.

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump’s campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform. (IANS)