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Facebook admits to more measurement mistakes

After inflating video viewing stats for years, Facebook now finds more flaws in the data it's reporting to advertisers and businesses.


Facebook's having trouble with accuracy.

In September, the social network admitted to overestimating video views in reports to advertisers. Now, the company has found a bug showing more discrepancies in Facebook's reporting to its business clients.

Facebook has admitted to the problems via a blog post and promises to fix them. The primary issue this time: Facebook has overestimated the number of people who actually view a post. Apparently, the bug doesn't affect businesses that have paid to have specific content promoted. Rather, it only impacts businesses seeking info about content without promotion, also known as "organic reach."

In calculating organic reach over the course of multiple days, Facebook counted users who have visited the same content multiple times instead of just new users, inflating the numbers by an estimated 33 percent over seven days and 55 percent over 28 days.

Facebook, which declined to comment for this story, promised in the blog post to the fix the problem in the coming months, and to update organic reach statistics to add "viewable impressions." Previously, without paying for promotion, companies could only see if content popped into a customer's feed. Now, they'll know if the content actually appeared on the customer's screen.

The blog post also discussed a number of other issues, including bugs involving referral clicks and another issue involving video views. And it announced Facebook's move to regain trust by increasing third-party verification of its reporting -- partnering with Nielsen and others.

Meanwhile, Facebook also faces accuracy issues on the content side. Along with Google, it's taken hits this month for fake election-related stories appearing on the site.