Facebook To Use New Tool To Crack Down On Unauthorized Videos

Facebook has been criticized of not making enough of an effort to stop users from uploading copyrighted material or videos belonging to other users or video-creators.

Now, Facebook has decided to invest more in helping video-creators prevent the unauthorized use of their videos.

In a post published on the Facebook media blog, the company announced that it will be working to improve the system by which users are prevented from uploading pirated or copied videos.

“We’re working with Audible Magic to enhance the way that system works with Facebook, including improving the intake of content intended to be blocked from our platform. And we’re making improvements to our existing procedures so that infringing content can be reported and removed more efficiently.”

The decision by Facebook comes after several video creators severely criticized, and in some cases accused, Facebook of easily allowing people to copy their material, or at least embed it, without their authorization. One such video creator, Hang Green, wrote a rather lengthy article earlier this month, attacking Facebook for “lying, cheating, and stealing.” Green, citing this report by Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, said 725 out of the 1,000 most popular videos on Facebook during 2015’s first quarter were “freebooted” videos — videos that were re-uploaded without the original creator’s approval.

That’s over 70 percent of the most popular videos on Facebook!

While the new tool to identify copied material on Facebook sounds like welcoming news to many, Wired says it will not be available for everyone yet. The new service will first go through a “testing period” in which it will only be available to “a small group of partners, including media companies, multi-channel networks, and individual video creators.”

“We also plan to make this technology to more partners in the future,” Facebook added on its blog.

The Wall Street Journal mentioned that the new tool Facebook will be providing its “small group of partners” will not be “fully automated.” Facebook users will receive a notification if a matching video is detected on Facebook, and the user will have to report the video to Facebook.

And, as YouTube video creator Brady Haran said while speaking to BBC, that can be a major problem.

“Any solution requiring notifications and human intervention risks ‘closing the gate after the hose has bolted’,” he said.

It seems that, if Facebook does not improve its “freebooted” video detection tool, it might lose in its video-posting service battle with YouTube.

[Image by Jorge Antonio Miranda / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0]