- Judges unedited part of Facebook proceedings claiming that executives knew that advertising indicators were inflated.
- The proceedings allege that executives ignored the employee’s request to correct it in order to avoid a “significant” sales hit.
- Potential reach, an indicator of the problem, indicates to the advertiser the possible audience size.
- See Insider’s Business section for more information.
Social media giants, Facebook executives, knew for years that their “potential” advertising indicators had swelled and dismissed employee warnings to adjust them to avoid hitting revenue. The plaintiffs in the proceedings against were alleged in an unedited court filing.
On Wednesday, a judge in the U.S. District Court for Northern California announced a section of court documents previously blacked out as part of a class proceeding on behalf of the DZ Reserve and other participating plaintiffs filed against Facebook in 2018. Revealed. Social media giants have tricked advertisers by inflating potential reach indicators.
The newly revealed section claimed that Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, acknowledged a potential reach index issue in a 2017 internal email. The proceedings allege that advertisers “frequently trust” indicators of reachable numbers when making purchase decisions. However, according to employees, this metric actually measures the number of accounts and can be misleading as it contains duplicate or fake accounts.
The product manager suggested modifying the metric to reflect the number of accounts reachable rather than people, but Facebook’s leadership team came up with this idea because it would have a “significant” revenue impact. I refused. The proceedings allege that Facebook found that removing duplicate or fake accounts from the total reduced the potential reach by 10%.
According to Filing, the employee who proposed the amendment said, “Given the fact that it is based on incorrect data, it is an income that should never have been earned.” Other Facebook employees also said the numbers were misleading.
“These documents have been carefully selected to meet plaintiffs’ explanations,” Facebook spokeswoman Joe Osborn said in an email statement to insiders. “Potential Reach” is a convenient campaign planning tool that will not be charged to advertisers. This is a quote and clarifies how it is calculated in the advertising interface and help center. “
Two years ago, the company adjusted potential reach indicators, FT reported. Instead of calculating the number of active users who have viewed ads in the last 30 days, Facebook has determined the metric by calculating the number of users who meet the advertiser’s criteria in that time frame, the report said. .. Plaintiffs alleged that there were still accounts duplicated with fake accounts in the total number.
The company has Said before According to the Financial Times, advertisers pay for actual ad impressions and clicks, not for potential reach metrics. Social media giants have previously been criticized for their indicators. In 2019, Facebook settled the proceedings after announcing that it had filed a proceeding Inflated viewing time The Wall Street Journal reported on video ads caused by metric calculation errors.