A lawsuit accusing Facebook of deliberately inflating its advertising reach to inflate advertising costs recently gained class-action status, allowing the case to include more than 2 million small ad buyers as plaintiffs.
AdAge reports that a lawsuit alleging Facebook (now known as Meta) deliberately overstated its advertising reach has been granted class action status. The lawsuit will include 2 million small ad buyers as plaintiffs after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that despite what he called a ‘blunderbuss of objections’ from Facebook, the lawsuit can proceed as a class action lawsuit on behalf of small business owners and individuals who purchased ads on Facebook and Instagram since August 15, 2014.
Documents filed in court in 2021 claimed that Facebook’s audience measurement tool was known to Mark Zuckerberg and his executives as unreliable because it was skewed by fake and duplicate accounts. Despite this, advertisers were still charged for ads based on estimates made by the audience measurement tool, overcharging them.
Facebook lawyers argued that the company has since made “updates” to improve the estimates made by the tool. They also objected to the request for class-action status, saying ad buyers had not shown that all class members relied on the metrics consistently to increase their spending.
U.S. District Judge James Donato said, “Class members may differ in advertising budgets and scope of purchases as suggested by Meta, but Meta has not demonstrated that these differences” render the case unfit to qualify as a class action.
In 2019, Facebook agreed to a $40 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by advertisers who alleged they overpaid for video ads based on Facebook’s overstated video view metrics. The current class action lawsuit was filed in 2018 by an e-commerce company that spent more than $1 million on Facebook ads and a gun accessory seller that spent about $350.
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering free speech and online censorship issues. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact by secure email at firstname.lastname@example.org