BuzzFeed, which relies heavily on Facebook to distribute its garbage posts and is therefore extremely self-interested in getting the site to censor and privilege material, helped kick off the fake news outrage with its pieces about what it dubbed fake news. Now those numbers are looking shakier than ever.
For the third time since September, Facebook is disclosing new measurement errors. The two new errors affected the reaction counts Facebook reports on Pages’ Live videos, as well as the engagement figures Facebook reports for off-Facebook links; the latter link engagement metrics were recently used in investigations by BuzzFeed and The New York Times into fake news articles’ performance on Facebook.
In addition to acknowledging the two new errors — of which one has been corrected and one is still being inspected — Facebook has refined a measurement marketers may reference when buying ads through the social network.
BuzzFeed's math had already been shredded earlier, but it now looks worse than ever. Though this time it arguably isn't BF's fault. But trying to pretend that these are definitive facts when they aren't is yet another form of fake news.