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Facebook Take Aim at Video Theft

The ongoing power struggle between YouTube and Facebook for control over the video streaming market has not been without its controversies. Users have attacked Facebook over many issues; the most notable among them have probably been their dubious viewing figures and concerns over piracy.

According to Ogilvy research published back in June, 73% of videos on Facebook at that time contained material lifted from other sites. This prompted individuals such as YouTube star Hank Green to publicly shame the social media giant. In an attempt to tackle the issue head-on, Facebook have recently announced a new system designed to flag videos that have either been stolen in their entirety, or that contain segments of other people's creative property without permission.

Unlike YouTube's current system, Facebook will not automatically remove flagged content, preferring to notify the original creator and let them make the decision. That part does seem like a good move to me, as it allows the creators of the content to choose on a case-by-case basis whether the video containing their work has promotional merit for themselves. In many cases it does simply boil down to one person trying to benefit from another's work, but there are genuine cases of mutually beneficial collaboration that an automatic removal system may hinder.

Facebook's own statement on the new system read as follows:

Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal.

It seems like a decent enough plan. That is as long as they can ensure the reliability of the system not only to ensure all stolen content is flagged, but also to ensure that similar, but not stolen, content is not flagged in error.

To help guarantee an effective system before mass launch, Facebook are following the standard practise of restricting the service to 'select partners' until such a time as the process is fine-tuned and finalised.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

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Facebook Take Aim at Video Theft Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, September 01, 2015 Rating: 5

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