Looks Like Facebook Is Building Its Own Content ID

from the that'll-go-over-just-great dept

YouTube star (among other things) Hank Green recently wrote an interesting post slamming Facebook for the way it treats video makers like himself. He has a few specific complaints, including that Facebook creates major incentives for people to upload videos directly to Facebook rather than just linking/embedding from other platforms (basically Facebook will bury your non-native videos) and that Facebook plays some questionable tricks in determining what counts as a "view" allowing it to claim more video views than YouTube when the truth is probably that it has about 1/5 as many views. But Hank's biggest complaint is that because of the incentives for native views, it's quite common for people to take other people's YouTube videos and upload them to Facebook themselves -- and that Facebook is not very responsive to takedown requests:

According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen re-uploads. Just these 725 "freebooted" videos were responsible for around 17 BILLION views last quarter. This is not insignificant, it’s the vast majority of Facebook’s high volume traffic. And no wonder, when embedding a YouTube video on your company’s Facebook page is a sure way to see it die a sudden death, we shouldn’t be surprised when they rip it off YouTube and upload it natively. Facebook’s algorithms encourage this theft.

What is Facebook doing about it?

They’ll take the video down a couple days after you let them know. Y’know, once it’s received 99.9% of the views it will ever receive.

Leaving aside whether or not you think this is a big deal, what's really interesting is the first comment (highlighted by Fred von Lohmann) which suggests Facebook is gearing up to launch its own ContentID-like system. The comment is from Matt Pakes, a Facebook product manager for its video products. He responds to each of Green's complaints, putting a pro-Facebook spin on each of them (though, those responses appear to be a little questionable) and then indicates that the company is getting ready to launch something new, a la ContentID, but made special for Facebook:
Finally, we take intellectual property rights very seriously. We have used the Audible Magic system for years to help prevent unauthorized video content on Facebook. We also provide reporting tools for content owners to report possible copyright infringement. As video continues to grow rapidly on Facebook, we’re actively exploring further solutions to help IP owners identify and manage potential infringing content, tailored for our unique platform and ecosystem. This is a significant technical challenge at our scale, but we have a team working on it and expect to have more to share later this summer.
Of course, as Hank pointed out in his original article, the reason why some content creators actually like ContentID isn't so much the fact that you can pull down copied videos, but because it's created a revenue stream for them that goes back to the original creators. It's not at all clear how Facebook could even do that:
But even if they do have a system, it won’t function as well as Content ID. Content ID works so well largely because YouTube is good at monetizing content. So, instead of taking a video down, a copyright holder can claim the video and receive revenue from it. Content ID has claimed millions of videos and is responsible for over a billion dollars in revenue so copyright holders love it. But without a good system of monetization, Facebook can only remove videos, not send big checks to the owners of stolen content. For the copyright holder, interfacing with a profitless system is just a pain in the ass with no upside.
I guess we'll wait and see what comes out of Facebook, but perhaps people are going to start getting used to Facebook's equivalent of the YouTube frowny face for blocked videos.

PS: I noted that Pakes' response seems questionable on multiple levels, but I want to call out one big fat ridiculous claim, concerning why it pushes native uploaded videos much harder than YouTube videos:
With regard to the reach of video posts, the goal of Facebook’s News Feed is to show the right content to the right people at the right time. If you’re the type of person who likes to watch videos, you should be seeing more videos in your News Feed. If you tend to skip over videos, you will likely see less of them. Over years of developing and tuning News Feed, we know that clicking on a link to play video is not a great user experience, so people tend to interact slightly less with non-native video, and the posts get less engagement. Native video posts with auto-play tend to see better engagement, more watch time and higher view counts. It’s a nuanced but important point: native videos often do better than video links, but this is because people tend to prefer watching native videos over clicking on a link and waiting for something to load.
I find this difficult to believe. First, anyone who has used the Facebook video player and the YouTube video player knows that Facebook's video player is terrible. The quality is terrible and the whole experience is annoying. For whatever reason, YouTube's video player just tends to work better than nearly every other alternative (though in some cases Vimeo is nice too). Facebook's just feels clunky. And it's a bit ridiculous to argue that "clicking on a link to play video is not a great user experience." No one seems to have a problem with it elsewhere. And I see plenty of complaints about Facebook's annoying "autoplay" on videos, which would distort this data anyway, since Facebook counts "views" after 3 seconds.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 7:21am

    Facebook?

    People still use that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 7:21am

    Facebook?

    People still use that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 12:04pm

      Re: Facebook?

      ...People still use that?...


      A lot more people on FB than G+. I'm surprised G+ is still around.

      Then again I've seen posts on G+ several hours or even a day before the same post shows up on FB with the same time stamp. Since these are from commercial entities I'm assuming they're using an autoposter, and FB's system is either clogged or slower than snot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 7:33am

    "According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen re-uploads."

    Am I going blind, or is that figure nowhere in that "report" (powerpoint presentation, at least)?

    "And no wonder, when embedding a YouTube video on your company’s Facebook page is a sure way to see it die a sudden death, we shouldn’t be surprised when they rip it off YouTube and upload it natively. Facebook’s algorithms encourage this theft."

    Erm, so it's Facebook's fault you're using it wrong, or are they saying that rehosting the video is "theft" now? What are people "stealing" if they've just admitted there's no revenue anyway?

    That's either badly worded or I'm missing a hell of a lot from that post.

    "Content ID has claimed millions of videos and is responsible for over a billion dollars in revenue so copyright holders love it."

    Not all copyright holders, though people like this do tend to forget that people not affiliated with a major corporation are also copyright holders. People who actually watch the content aren't too keen on it either - especially when the copyright holders haven't bothered to supply a legal source, or they know they're trying to watch non-infringing content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 8:13am

      Re:

      "Content ID has claimed millions of videos and is responsible for over a billion dollars in revenue so copyright holders love it."

      Well, judging by the amount of people who had their self-made videos, of which they are the copyright holders, taken down, because of baseless accusations and misbehaving robots, I very much doubt most copyright holders love it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 7:48am

    Finally, we take intellectual property rights very seriously.

    Wow. So a platform that was originally built by blatantly ripping off someone else's work, getting rich off of it, and using the money made off it to establish enough "legitimacy" to avoid consequences... now that they're established they take IP rights very seriously.

    First thing I think of when I see this: Facebook has become the MPAA of the 21st century.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 8:06am

    So...what does Facebook get from 'stealing' all the views exactly, if they're so bad at monetizing them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:38am

      Re:

      Facebook are perfectly good at monetizing the videos, they just aren't good at passing that money on to the content creators.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 8:31am

    "it's quite common for people to take other people's YouTube videos and upload them to Facebook themselves"

    WHAT? "other people's"? YOU SAY PEOPLE DON'T OWN CONTENT! And calling those "stolen"? THIS IS JUST SHARING. Don't they want the content promoted and seen?

    So you're against even sharing when suits your purpose. You have no philosophical consistency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 8:33am

    "it's quite common for people to take other people's YouTube videos and upload them to Facebook themselves"

    WHAT? "other people's"? YOU SAY PEOPLE DON'T OWN CONTENT! And calling those "stolen"? THIS IS JUST SHARING. Don't they want the content promoted and seen?

    So you're against even sharing when suits your purpose. You have no philosophical consistency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:09am

      Re: "it's quite common for people to take other people's YouTube videos and upload them to Facebook themselves"

      Um. Y'know everything you just pointed to is part of our description of what Hank Green said, right? Take a breath, dude.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 1:48pm

      Re: "it's quite common for people to take other people's YouTube videos and upload them to Facebook themselves"

      "So you're against even sharing when suits your purpose. You have no philosophical consistency."

      Ahem. The full quote:

      "But Hank's biggest complaint is that because of the incentives for native views, it's quite common for people to take other people's YouTube videos and upload them to Facebook themselves"

      Funny how your idiotic personal attacks suddenly become outright lies when you take all the facts into account, isn't it? Why are you so afraid of reality?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:39am

    Facebook likely feels they need content id to keep the lawsuits away as they work towards monetizing video. At the very least, there is the appearance that Facebook has overlooked piracy at this point, and it has helped fueled the massive growth in Facebook video when combined with their algorithms being adjusted to favor such content. It would not be a surprise if during discovery of a lawsuit someone were to find evidence that Facebook knowingly and intentionally promoted piracy to boost their video player (or something like not enforcing copyright rules on VIP accounts), which might put a should be clean cut win in jeopardy for Facebook.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    kehvan (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:43am

    Facebook epitomizes liberal-fascism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      wth is that?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        kehvan (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 12:20pm

        Re: Re:

        I suppose you need to read the book, Liberal Fascism for the clearest explanation, but in the case of Facebook, it's found in Facebook's incessent need to "police" the site. In particular, Facebook gives the heckler "veto rights" over other users who've posted something on Facebook that offended them. Facebook shouldn't ban people who post things offensive, but should only block those users from each other.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, is your problem that you don't think that private enterprise should control their own property, or that you actually believed that tome's contradictory remit?

          "in the case of Facebook, it's found in Facebook's incessant need to "police" the site"

          I'm pretty sure it's the constant legal attacks the site has against it that generates that leads to that, or at least the sadly large numbers of users too clueless to use privacy controls to hide/block users or use another site if it offends them so. I rarely see such content, and the few times I do, I police it all by myself rather than whining to Facebook or a lawyer, and I'm suddenly freed from small minded morons. I wonder what the difference is.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            kehvan (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That tome's contradictory remit???

            You're trying too hard.

            While you might disagree with whether or not those purporting a "liberal" philosophy might also exhibit fascistic tendencies in pursuit of that philosophy, for most people who study history, it's not a controversial concept.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 7 Aug 2015 @ 12:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "those purporting a "liberal" philosophy might also exhibit fascistic tendencies in pursuit of that philosophy"

              You do not need to have liberal tendencies to be fascist, and those purporting to be left wing are often lying about that in order to get their way.

              Sorry, but if you feel the need to refer to "liberal fascism" as opposed to "fascism", then I will have to believe you swallowed a lot of the more laughable tripe in that book rather than studied facts.

              I also notice you failed to address the rest of my comment. Do you subscribe to the theory that Facebook are wrong to police their privately owned property in the way they see fit, or is it only wrong to do it in a "liberal" manner in your eyes?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Wendy Cockcroft, 11 Aug 2015 @ 6:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                He's just using the wrong words as dog whistles, that's all. It's true that some belief systems and philosophies can and do tend towards authoritarianism, whichever side of the aisle they are on. I've seen it on the left, on the right, and via liberals. Anything they get hot under the collar about, they lay down the law about and you're either with them or against them. It's horrible.

                In this case, kehvan appears to be displaying symptoms of Partisan Nitwit Disease where [bogeyman] == the other tribe + dog whistle + Godwin's Law.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 12:39pm

    It's a term used by people who have read (or have come across second or third hand) Jonah Goldberg's revisionist history.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 12:55pm

    Facebook is making money hand over fist because they are serving up ads to all parts of the ad-tech industry (very targetable ads because of all the things people tell Facebook about themselves).

    The problem with Facebook vs YouTube is that Facebook doesn't pay the content creators, because the users are the content. The users are doing the job of content creation for Facebook. YouTube recognizes that it should incentivize content creators to put up things people want to see by giving them a portion of the revenue. FB doesn't do that. FB doesn't seem to want to do that.

    Do you know how much less FB is going to be worth when a) it has to start paying people for the content they put up, or b) people get tired of FB selling them to the ad-men and leave the site?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 3:17pm

      Re:

      Neither of those things will ever happen. There's no risk of people leaving over the privacy implications of ad profiling, and there's no business case to give revenue to people posting videos, pictures, or other types of stuff.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CharlieBrown, 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:38pm

    Too Late!

    Several months ago, I uploaded to FaceBook a one minute clip of the Comedy Central show @midnight, which I had recorded off TV. The second it finished uploading, I was given a copyright infringement takedown notice! So I think they already have a form of ContentID.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2015 @ 9:51am

    Shitbook.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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