Tag Archive for ‘Will Oremus’

Stolen YouTube Videos Going Viral on Facebook ➝

Will Oremus, writing for Slate:

The problem was that Sandlin had never posted it to Facebook, and the version of it that appeared in millions of users’ News Feeds overnight wasn’t his. Rather, a British lads’ magazine called Zoo had apparently downloaded (or “ripped”) his video from YouTube, edited it to strip out references to Sandlin and his SmarterEveryDay channel, and posted the edited version on its own page, using Facebook’s native video player.

This type of downloading and re-uploading has been a problem for video sharing sites since the beginning. It’s just a shame that it’s happening on the most popular social network in the world. But, Facebook has created an environment where this sort of thing happens because Facebook wants anything and everything shared on the site to live on Facebook.

However, it appears that the viral nature of videos hosted by Facebook and their ability to garner many more views than their YouTube counterparts is partly due to the playback mechanism. Videos hosted by Facebook auto-play as a user scrolls past them whereas YouTube videos require a click to get a view. That means Facebook isn’t exactly counting the number of people that watched the video, they’re counting the number of people who watched or simply scrolled past the video in their news feed.

Hopefully Facebook will make the necessary changes to prevent this kind of abuse in the future. Or, users will start to wise-up and quit using the service. Although, I’m not confident either one of those things will happen.