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Social/Search: Facebook in more metrics trouble

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Facebook is in hot water again after advertising groups accuse the company of claiming more young adult users in the US than are listed by the Census Bureau.

A study by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), a trade group for cable and broadcast networks and their sites, has suggested the tech giant is over-counting 18-to-24 year-olds to the extent a huge chunk of the numbers claimed is statically non-existent.

The VAB, along with pivotal research analyst Brian Weiser, agree that Facebook’s alleged reach exceeds census estimates by a third in the 18-24 demographic and 80 per cent among 25-34 year-olds.

Last year, Facebook admitted to miscalculating the typical time that users were spending engaged with its videos, over a two-year period.

Fake news promoted by social giants after massacre

Digital giants Google and Facebook have been accused of promoting and spreading fake news in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, which left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.

Traditional media quickly responded to the reports of a shooting at a popular country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday evening local time. Likewise, fake news outlets quickly mobilised. These stories appeared in top search results on both platforms.

Facebook’s emergency check-in service, which users in the vicinity of an event can mark themselves as safe and stay up-to-date with developments, promoted several non-trustworthy and incorrect news pieces, according to screenshots.

Similarly, Google promoted a story which incorrectly named the shooter as Geary Danley, linking the attack to liberal ideology by scouring his Facebook profile. The story trended for several hours until it was replaced by credible news sources.

Google is now heavily featuring fact-checking within its News Service in relation to the massacre.

Google prioritised fact checking in search results following fake news troubles.
Google prioritised fact checking in search results following fake news troubles.

The digital giants have been plagued with accusations of fake news in the past year. This most recent incident has not helped either company’s efforts to repair the relationship with publishers.

Google offers incentives to publishers to use new format

Google is seeking help from publishers to create its own version of a multimedia format, similar to Snapchat’s Discover and Instagram’s Stories.

The search giant is offering publishers an incentive, paying those willing to work on their “Stamp” project. The incentive is intended to cover the costs publishers collect as they generate content and systems to fit the new format.

Google’s “Stamp” will let publishers create visual-oriented media content, in an attempt to catch up with other tech giants dominating news distribution on smartphones.

Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Mashable, Mic.com, CNN, The Washington Post and Vox Media are rumoured to be the participating publishers.



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