MENLO PARK, Calif (Legal Newsline) -- One month after Facebook announced a video metric error caused artificial inflation for the last two years, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against the company.
In a post on the Facebook business page dated Sept. 23, Facebook announced there had been an error with the metric that determines the average time users spend watching videos.
This specific metric is a critical measurement tool for advertisers to rely on when making purchasing decisions. The error in measurement led to inflated average viewing times for video ads for the last two years.
In its post about the error last month, Facebook said the formula behind the metric was incorrect. Rather than reflecting the total time viewers spend watching a video divided by the total number of viewers who played the video, the metric was based on the total time spent watching a video divided by video views of more than three seconds only.
The company said it was introducing a new metric to fix the problem.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported advertiser spending was affected by the miscalculated data, and that the metric error with regard to Facebook videos may have also impacted spending decisions in relation to videos on YouTube, Twitter and television networks.
The lawsuit was filed by the Las Vegas law firm Eglet Prince and Rueb & Motta in California on Oct. 27. They are representing plaintiffs Tom Letizia, Mark Fierro and Greg Agustin.
The three say they purchased video ads on Facebook.
"Plaintiffs, and other similarly situated, paid to advertise on the Website based on
Facebook's representations that the video advertisements purchased were being viewed by the
targeted audience for a significantly longer duration than they were actually viewed," the complaint says.