Leesa Dean Asks, “Is Facebook Stealing Views?

no-stealing_designAdventures in Digital Series Land #108
by Leesa Dean

Things kinda ground to a halt this past week and I was stumped by the new voiceovers I’m doing for the mini-series I’m putting together.

I had already pre-corded the episodes (35 for starters) and once I started lip-syncing, something just wasn’t working. I suspected it was the voiceover but really liked the tone I had used. But once it was coupled with animation, it lost the funny factor.  Which is a big problem for me.

So I called my production partner (who’s not involved with this particular project) because he tends to have that great type of objectivity and confirmed my worst fears: the voiceover had to go.  He made some broad suggestions. After experimenting for a number of days, I finally locked in the new one and am LOVING it. And, it’s funny.  Either that, or I’ve become delusional after all this work.

The good news: I’m wildly happy about the direction of this mini-series. The bad news: It’s going to take me longer than I expected to finish it. *sigh*

I do have the pilot in the can and one of the things I did this week was prep it for YouTube and Facebook (which have slightly different formatting requirements).  So it was pretty interesting/disturbing to read this article, which talks about a huge problem in the digital series world: stealing videos and posting them on Facebook. The article was written by YouTube star Hank Green, who’s also one of the co-founders of VidCon, which is huge. So it holds a lot of weight and is making waves.

According to article, of the 1,000 most popular Facebook videos, 725 were stolen re-uploads, responsible for around 17 billions views, just last quarter alone. In other words, you bust your butt creating a video, post it on YouTube, someone takes it and posts it on Facebook.  Why does that suck for you?  Because Facebook does not monetize videos.  If someone just embedded your YouTube on their Facebook page, it would be a non-issue cause you’d be getting paid.  And because of the way Facebook is set up, you probably will get more views there making Facebook richer and you…well, you know.

What’s really shocking/disturbing about all of this is, Facebook launched their video platform with no system to protect independent rights holders. So it’s nearly impossible to know if your video has been ripped off and posted.  Unless it goes viral on Facebook and you happen to see it.  Currently, there no way to search for it. If you do happen to see a video that’s been free-booted, though, you can contact Facebook and they will take action, meaning take it down a couple of days after you let them know and it’s sucked up most of the views it’ll ever get (why share on YouTube when it’s so much easier to share on Facebook).

I’m really hoping that with more exposure, Facebook does something to change their algorithms and make them more independent creator friendly. Cause this blows.