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Social Networking Giant Facebook to Pay $40mn for Inflating Data on Video Ads

Snap and Facebook share a bitter history, with the latter copying several of Snapchat-first features into its Instagram and other products

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

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 (FTC) as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant’s business practices.

Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Snap, which is the parent company of Snapchat, has created a dossier under “Project Voldemort” that apparently contains Facebook secrets.

Snap and Facebook share a bitter history, with the latter copying several of Snapchat-first features into its Instagram and other products.

Also Read: 15 Apps on Google Play Market Found Making Adware Attempts: Report

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 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directing the social networking platform to pay $100 million penalty for making misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of user data.

Democrat Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon is even demanding jail term for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he should face serious consequences for letting his social media platform misuse consumers’personal data. (IANS)

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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)