It's a lie multiplier!
Yesterday it was revealed that Facebook had allegedly knowingly lied about the numbers of people watching videos on its platform for years. The Wall Street Journal uncovered that the possible malfeasance was much larger, and much greater, than previously reported.
And let us turn to Wired for a quick recap.
Facebook acknowledged in 2016 that it had been overstating to advertisers the average time users spent watching videos on the platform. But when exactly Facebook found out about that error—and how long the company kept it under wraps—is now the subject of a federal district court lawsuit in California. The suit, filed earlier this week, was brought by Facebook advertisers who allege that Facebook knew about the measurement error for more than a year before it was first reported publicly in The Wall Street Journal.
But advertisers aren’t the only ones seething over the prospect of Facebook knowingly inflating its video viewership; members of the press are, too.
According to the complaint, which Facebook has dismissed as being “without merit,” the company may have been alerted to the analytics error as early as 2015 by advertisers who reported seeing an unrealistic 100 percent average viewership rates on some videos. It was also around that time that many newsrooms across the country began laying off reporters, in what has become snarkily known as the “pivot to video.”
Now, of course this relates to surfing because everything relates to surfing but also because just last year the World Surf League announced a partnership with Facebook that it called “groundbreaking.” The subsequent roll-out was marred with troubles and grumbles and odd explanations for the number of viewers that is still impossibly murky.
Beyond the World Surf League, the surf media, alongside the lame-stream media, began its almost exclusive relationship with Facebook years ago. It is difficult/impossible to grow any sort of audience without the publishing giant and “likes” and “shares” became the new currency, with certain properties better at juicing those “likes” and “shares” than others.
All publishing, it seems, geared itself solely toward attracting a mass audience, a completely oddly unrealistic audience in both size and scope and Facebook fed this beast.
So, who cares?
Well, I do because I hate bullshit and Facebook is bullshit. Oh I know it’s just a tool and railing against a tool is tool-like but I still don’t understand why everything has to be such bullshit?
So damned fake and fraudy.
Everything is so damned fake and fraudy. I know it has always been sort of this way, that surf magazines used to print way more than they could ever sell, burn the extras and claim massive subscription numbers but that seemed like real work. Like, going to a burn bin and catching physical things on fire.
Facebook has streamlined the fraud and maybe even convinced people that it’s real. Like, the World Surf League. Do you think the powers that be in Santa Monica’s gilded offices really believe that there are millions upon millions of potential surf fans because Facebook has taught them that millions upon millions of “likes” and “shares” are out there or do you think the powers are in on the game, juicing the “like” and “shares”, lying about engagement to advertisers just as Facebook lied to them?
A lie multiplier.
Hell if I know and hell if my caring about it will make any difference but since when did a few hundred thousand people really loving something and engaging with something become so… small? So… immaterial?
Gimme the hardened little core and fuck the potential trillions.