“A lot of friends lost their jobs over this bullshit. Facebook outright lied and pushed this whole ‘pivot to video’ narrative. It’s all a big house of cards.”
So says Benjamin Bailey, a writer for the Nerdist, after an amended lawsuit accused Facebook of knowingly reporting incorrect video viewership figures.
“Facebook’s misrepresentations induced video advertising purchasers, including Plaintiffs, to continue purchasing video advertisements, and to purchase additional video advertisements, because purchasers believed that users were watching their videos, on average, for longer than users were actually watching their videos,” the complaint says.
Facebook revealed in 2016 that there was an error on how they counted video metrics, which inflated figures as they only counted individuals who had watched the video for more than 3 seconds. Inflating watch-times by 60% to 80%.
The lawsuit now alleges, based on Facebook internal documents, that they knew of this error for at least a year but still continued to report the inflated figures.
They further allege metrics may have been inflated by as much as 900%, leading to a whole pivot to video in the media under the belief that users were moving to video content.
Facebook has dismissed the lawsuit as without merit, but they admit that there was an error in how they counted watch times.
The lawsuit further alleges that Facebook tried to “obfuscate the fact that we tried to screw up the math.”
Leading to the question of just how many other likewise screw-ups are brushed under the carpet in centralized walled gardens where only a few database administrators know what is really going on.
Raising issues of trust, and more importantly the question of why should we trust them? A question that goes beyond Facebook to wider aspects like say affiliate advertising.
There, a publisher or referrer has no way of knowing just how many of their visitors ended up purchasing the product. So having to rely completely on the full honesty of the affiliated company.
The incentives, however, are completely opposed. No one wants to pay money so the affiliated company might and probably will underreport. While for Facebook, if this really was just an error rather than trying to milk money, then their incentives for revealing it are fairly close to zero.
If only there was some sort of trust anchor, some sort of open source code that runs on an open source network with 16,000 admin nodes where anyone who wants can become an administrator and enforce the open rules.
If only this global public network run by all had the ability to run Turing complete code whereby one can through ifs and then design whatever one wants.
It would be far too much to ask for it to also have some sort of incentive, some sort of money aspect to galvanize them all into co-ordinating a way to enforce this honesty.
And even if the above was a thing, it would be impossible for it to handle all the data of Facebook through some sort of distributed computer storage in the billions of laptops in the world, not to count the servers.
The ingenuity of intellect has brought that world very much into reality. You’ll notice our own link above.
Akasha now loads up somewhat surprisingly fast. It is not quite Facebook, but sort of a blend of current social media in addition to the blockchenized aspects which are currently running on ethereum’s testnet.
The data aspect is running on IPFS, with all of course open source. In development since 2016 this has been. Not clear yet when it will launch on mainnet.
Arguably one could make just a Facebook clone, but the appeal of Facebook was more that it was new and it primarily aimed to link testosterone or estrogen fueled students with each other. Now it has morphed into a manipulative blackhole where pages probably intentionally slowly load to increase anticipation of those sugar rush red notifications.
Making Akasha try and be not just a blockchain social network, but a modern social network that happens to run on the blockchain.
They’re one of many that are now open sourcing data and open sourcing algorithms because money is incorporated in the social network itself, rather than depending on advertisers. So they don’t need to design manipulative algorithms to make us click ads.
Plus, considering the immense power some administrators of the current dominant social networks have, it may be less of whether they will succeed or not, and more of how or which one.