Facebook, which paid advertisers $ 40 million in severance pay for inflated video viewing metrics in 2019 and is filing a lawsuit over its “reach” to users, this week addresses the revelation that it will be in just three years It cut 1.3 billion fake accounts in months last year.
“How much money was spent advertising on those fake accounts?” said Angelo Carusone, CEO of the progressive monitoring group Media Matters for America.
Facebook did not respond to a request for a comment.
Carusone noted that US taxpayers fund ads on Facebook through government agencies such as US Health and Human Services and the US Census Bureau. Ad analytics firm Pathmatics reported that the Census Bureau invested more than $ 51 million, or 61% of its digital advertising budget, on Facebook in the first six months of last year. None of the federal agencies immediately answered questions about fake accounts.
Facebook is The dominance of digital advertising was examined in detail in Congress and brought before the US Federal Trade Commission in antitrust proceedings at the end of last year. The company was in hot water earlier than it put in the numbers for users and user activity – metrics advertisers rely on to manage spend. In 2019, without admitting wrongdoing, the company paid the $ 40 million severance pay after advertisers accused it of increasing video ad metrics by up to 900%.
According to research firm eMarketer, Facebook is on track for nearly $ 100 billion in digital advertising revenue this year and controls nearly 25% of the global digital advertising market.
The company is still on trial in federal court in San Francisco, battling a 2018 class action lawsuit alleging advertisers overestimating the number of people their ads could reach, despite executives allegedly going for years Know about the hype and a manager call the problem in an internal communication “a lawsuit waiting to happen”. Facebook has called the lawsuit unfounded.
Menlo Park’s social media titan this week touted the deactivation of its 1.3 billion accounts.
“We’re cracking down on this activity, blocking millions of fake accounts every day, most at the time of creation,” the company said in a press release found that the company is under investigation for online misinformation in Congress. “To combat misinformation, a number of challenges need to be addressed, including fake accounts, misleading behavior, and misleading and harmful content,” the company said.
What wasn’t in the press release and what Facebook doesn’t reveal is how many fake accounts were not tracked at the time of creation, how many ads were running, and how far fake accounts could be in the company’s user numbers, Carusone found it 2.8 billion “monthly active users” that were claimed for 2020.
Facebook’s “Community Standards” prohibit multiple personal accounts and misrepresented identities. If advertisers have been fooled, they should get refunds, Carusone said.
“If you’re an advertiser, the guarantee is that Facebook can at least conclude,” Hey, we’re not going to allow artificial accounts to use our platform, “Carusone said.
Facebook in February said it was disabled 3.3 billion fake accounts in 2018, 6.5 billion in 2019 and 4.5 billion in the first nine months of last year.
“Your countermeasures are not strong,” said Carusone.
Facebook sued four Chinese affiliates and three people from China in 2019 for working together to sell fake Facebook accounts. So far, however, Facebook has only been able to bring the lawsuit against one of the companies that did not respond further to the action.
In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Facebook said fake accounts can be used for spam, phishing campaigns, disseminating misinformation, conducting marketing scams, tracking advertising fraud, and other fraudulent scam programs . The company added that “mass quantities” of fake accounts are being sold on illegal online marketplaces. The Chinese companies and individuals offered fake Facebook accounts for sale through six websites.