Lawsuit: Facebook Overstated Advertising Reach Estimates for Years

Hannah Murphy, Financial Times:

According to sections of a filing in the lawsuit that were unredacted on Wednesday, a Facebook product manager in charge of potential reach proposed changing the definition of the metric in mid-2018 to render it more accurate. 

However, internal emails show that his suggestion was rebuffed by Facebook executives overseeing metrics on the grounds that the “revenue impact” for the company would be “significant”, the filing said.

The product manager responded by saying “it’s revenue we should have never made given the fact it’s based on wrong data”, the complaint said.

Several years ago, Facebook admitted that it grossly overstated video views at a time when many publishers were “pivoting to video” specifically for the platform. In 2017, a Wall Street firm found that the reach of Facebook ads in the U.S. for some demographics were estimated to be millions greater than the total number of living people in those same segments. In November, Facebook said it was exaggerating the conversion rate of some ad campaigns.

Awful strange how these problems always seem to benefit Facebook.