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Facebook facing fraud charges for failing to disclose inaccurate metrics earlier

Facebook Inc. is facing fraud charges for failing to disclose issues in its measurement of video ad consumption earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 16, citing a complaint filed in a California federal court.

A group of small advertisers reportedly alleged that the social media giant already "knew of the irregularities in its video metrics by January 2015."

The company however, chose to withhold the information for over a year, before it decided to publicly share details of the matter in 2016 through a post on its advertiser help center.

The group filed a lawsuit against the company in a California federal court in 2016, accusing Facebook of engaging in unfair business conduct by providing inaccurate metrics that overestimated the amount of time users spent on watching video ads.

The group has now added a fraud claim, according to a court filing dated Oct. 16, the report said.

The filing followed the plaintiffs' review of about 80,000 pages of internal Facebook records, secured as part of court proceedings, and these allegedly revealed that the miscalculation was "far worse than understood," The Wall Street Journal reported.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the accusations are false and that the company has moved to dismiss the fraud claim, according to the report.