How Facebook is Stealing Billions of Views-725 of the thousand most viewed videos on Facebook were stolen

A few days ago, Facebook proudly announced that it reached 8 billion views per day It's really impressive, until you learn that in the first quarter of 2015, 725 of the thousand most viewed videos on Facebook were stolen, amassing more than 17 billion views. Content sites and aggregators steal videos from Youtube to spread on Facebook. These videos go viral because Facebook is cheating .

The algorithm and strategy:

They write their own algorithms so that the videos published with their player are highlighted compared to those of Youtube , users stay on the site as long as possible and Facebook can show as many ads as it likes, It’s after all their business model .But they also cheat on the views. A frame is counted after 3 seconds even if the video sound is muted ,Which means that with automatic reading, if you scroll your news feed gently, you count as a view. Engagement rates are therefore high Compared to views on Youtube, Facebook's view counter becomes disenchanted after a few seconds because the majority of views are not real But as the big numbers are impressive, Facebook continues to pretend .While this forced virality is weird, the real problem, called "drift", the theft of videos.

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

 As Facebook prefers its own player, stolen videos reach far more people than the original. This has happened to us lately, more and more often. Smarter everyday videos are constantly stolen and are seen up to 17 million times but even that is tiny, like for example Tyrese Gibson, a singer who steals viral videos like this with 86 million views on his Facebook page. He also adds a link to buy his music .He is not the only one to do this. A whole group of people built this online presence to steal other people's work. This is really bad for freelance creators contrary to popular belief .

Stolen content gives creators no exposure .Only thieves and Facebook take advantage of this. Quality content takes a lot of creativity, time and passion to be created.For a small creator, a viral video can make the difference between a job and a hobby .On Youtube, this kind of video is not a problem because they have important safeguards protecting the contents of theft Even if the content ID system is far from perfect, especially for film and video game reviews. On the other hand, Facebook claims that everything is fine, and announces its progress one by one. But things are not going well.

Let's look at last year's Facebook copyright claim process:

1. Receive an email or fan tweet that gives a direct link to your video. You cannot search for your own videos on Facebook, you are entirely dependent on luck to find one of your stolen videos.

2. Search the “copyright infringement on Facebook” section with Google, simply because it's easier than via Facebook.

3. Fill out a very long and boring contact form.

4. Watch the number of views on your stolen videos increased.

5. Facebook finally removes the video. Note that the video has already had 99% of the views which it will have in total.

The thief doesn't even have to fear possible reprisals. Here's what constantly successful video creators have to deal with. And in addition lose you a lot in terms of visibility and money, it's also very unpleasant to be treated like this.

In a recent announcement, Facebook announced that they want to change. However, it is still difficult to take them seriously from the moment it takes days  to delete a video. And Facebook only shares earned income with video. Facebook is currently not a good partner for creators. They built their video empire on stolen content and disregard for the original video creators, which is so unacceptable for a multi-billion dollar business. Facebook is already testing a variety of monetization methods which are going to give people, who put part of advertising revenue online.

What in the current state of things is really disturbing! 

Currently, this is just being tested on large media companies but as a creator, we do not have the impression that we are taken into consideration by the giant that is Facebook.

 What can you, as a user, do?

 If you notice stolen content on Facebook, write a comment linking the video to the original content. Alert the creator of the video, because only he can make a copyright report. Share this video or the one made by SmarterEveryday. We all want the same thing, a free internet based on creativity, communities and lots of good things. We sincerely hope that Facebook will become a partner, instead of being an obstacle, to allow us to achieve this goal.

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