Facebook has called for a lawsuit against the social media company to be dismissed, after it revealed last year that it had given advertisers inflated video data and then was sued by marketers.
Facebook, increasingly taking advantage of video and becoming a major competitor for media companies, is being sued by six marketers who say that the social media company violated a California law about unfair and fraudulent business acts—i.e., the company overstated the amount of time viewers spent watching ad clips.
Today, MediaPost reported that Facebook has called for the judge presiding over the case to dismiss it, stating that those marketers haven’t claimed that they relied on the incorrect, inflated ad view data when making their buying decisions.
In the filing, the marketers claimed that the bad data drove them "to pay more for Facebook video advertising than they otherwise would have been willing to pay," MediaPost reported.
Facebook responded: “"Not a single plaintiff—let alone all of them—alleges that he or it ever viewed either [metric] and then spent money on video ads because of an alleged misrepresentation," according to MediaPost.
In September, Facebook came forward with the news that its numbers were wrong.
“About a month ago, we found an error in the way we calculate one of the video metrics on our dashboard—average duration of video viewed,” wrote David Fischer, vice president of business and marketing partnerships at Facebook, in a statement. “The metric should have reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by the total number of people who played the video. But it didn’t—it reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by only the number of “views” of a video (that is, when the video was watched for three or more seconds). And so the miscalculation overstated this metric. While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”
Facebook is focusing more and more of its efforts on video in recent months. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was looking for series based around sports, science, pop culture, lifestyle, gaming and teens, with 30-minute episodes. The company will supposedly pay a “premium digital rate” for scripted content, or about low- to mid-six figures per episode, according to the report.
Last year, Facebook paid out more than $50 million to companies including Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and The Huffington Post, as well as to celebrities including Kevin Hart and Russell Wilson, to get them to create original videos for the platform.