Facebook settles on claims it was defrauding advertisers by grossly overstating video views up to 900%

The details of the settlement are not yet known.

Facebook is settling a class action suit filed by an ad-agency accusing the company of grossly overstating the viewership on the platform by nearly 900 percent. On Wednesday, several advertising agencies told a federal court in California that, according to plaintiffs, Facebook has admitted its mistake and is swiftly settling the case.

Considering the recent investigations by Congress and several other agencies such as the DOJ, as well as public scrutiny over data scandals and privacy issues, Facebook might have been potentially forced into silencing this issue.

The complaint amended in the court pointed to a story that featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2016. The WSJ’s story revealed that Facebook was overstating its viewership metrics by 60% to 80%. Based on the allegations of the plaintiffs, Facebook ended up accepting its fault.

However, things didn’t quite end there.

“The average viewership metrics were not inflated by only 60%-80%; they were inflated by some 150 to 900%,” stated the complaint.

Based on the complaint, it can be understood that Facebook had over-exaggerated the viewership metrics and there was a severe impact that followed such a miscalculation.

On the other hand, the tech giant said that such miscalculations usually came from selectively used information and that the ad agencies may have seen erroneous metrics that propelled them into spending more money on Facebook’s video ads.

In early 2019, after considering all the pleadings, the US District Court Judge Jerry White allowed the claims of unfair competition and fraud to move forward. According to the latest reports, it is revealed that the parties are requesting to pause the deadlines for the litigation. Even the class certification briefing is also paused in the light of ongoing settlement negotiations.

While the terms of the settlement haven't been released yet, the plaintiff’s attorney Eric Gibbs said that he couldn’t disclose any more information at the moment. The settlement under mediation has to be approved by the judge and the figures must be presented in the court in the coming months for the settlement to come through.

Naga Pramod

Naga Pramod is a computer science major and tech news reporter with a passion for cyber security, networking, and data science. [email protected]