Blog 72

5 Top Social Media Platforms and How They Tackle Piracy

Monday, December 19, 2022


In 2020, the world was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, changing our habits, ways of living, and methods of communicating and connecting with our loved ones. Although social media had been growing before the epidemic also, the surge in active users increased at a rapid pace during this time. As people did not have the option to leave their houses and hope was the sole medication, the only possible way to connect with their near and dear ones was through top social media platforms. 

Statistics reveal that during the first half of the COVID-19 outbreak, Facebook experienced a significant user growth of 8.7 percent in 2020. This was the highest growth measured over the evaluated period. Furthermore, in 2020, Twitter saw a growth of 8.4 percent from the previous year. TikTok also experienced a heavy rise in its users. As of October 2020, Norway had the highest 248.7% user growth of TikTok users. 

At a time when everyone was disconnected from their families, these social media applications helped people connect with one another. However, the ever-rising users also increased the threats of content piracy and copyright infringement during that time. Although piracy has always been a global concern, it was the time when piracy drastically affected brands and creators. To combat the growing threat of piracy, top social media platforms have strict piracy policies that safeguard their users from its massive impacts. In this article, we will discuss the top five social media platforms and the measures they take to fight the problem of piracy.  

Instagram Against Piracy 

Instagram is one of the most famous social media platforms used by both adults and young ones. The social media platform is widely used by businesses and creators to reach a wider audience. However, piracy continues to affect its users on a large scale. Although piracy is illegal on Instagram, content can still get pirated on the platform. Most often, piracy on social media takes place through Insta Reels. From short clips of movies to stealing content, Insta Reels are an easy way of unlawful duplication of content. However, if you are facing copyright infringement, you can report the same on the platform.

Here are different ways how you can report content: 

  • Visit this link and fill out the form to report content. 
  • You can also report by using Brand Rights Protection.
  • Or you can also report through a DMCA takedown notice. 

Apart from the users reporting infringing content, Instagram furthermore uses automated tools like ‘Rights Manager,’ which helps protect the rights of copyright holders by automatically removing infringing content. This also helps Instagram to reduce the number of DMCA request takedowns. Also, the platform ensures that fast actions are taken on reports. In 2020, Instagram took down 1.5 million copyright-infringing items.

The top social media platform continues to make additional improvements to its automated systems to make sure that piracy is resolved proactively before it causes severe damage to the copyright holder. The platform uses advanced machine learning and suspicious signals such as prior IP violations and keywords to detect and remove pirated content. 

Facebook Against Piracy 

In March 2021, Facebook shared a report in which it explained the measures it took to combat the drastic impacts of IP infringement prevailing on the platform. Apart from removing infringing content on receiving piracy on social media reports, Meta-owned FB proactively removed content through its automated processes. In the year 2020, Facebook removed 99.7% of all counterfeit-related content. In simpler terms, it removed 335,765,018 pieces of suspected counterfeit content even before they were reported to the Facebook team by the owners of the content. Furthermore, Facebook removed 77.9% of all copyright-infringing content. 

In addition to proactively removing pirated content when it is already being posted on FB, the platform is also taking measures to reduce unlawful duplication of content. It uses advanced machine learning that allows it to detect violating ads and posts that may be infringing on someone’s copyright or counterfeits in nature. It is also making advancements to stop malicious links from spreading. Furthermore, employing automated tools like Rights Manager and Commerce & Ads IP Tool, makes sure that owners and their content pieces stay protected. In addition, Facebook has recently started collaborating with brands and creators that deal with IP issues. This gives them useful insights and helps them implement changes to their policies that allows their users to stay protected while using the platform. 

Moreover, if anyone faces content piracy on Facebook, one can report it easily by following the below-listed steps: 

  • Visit Facebook’s online form here to report copyright infringement. 
  • Fill out the form providing all the information requested therein. 
  • Provide the link to infringing content
  • Provide proof of your copyrighted content
  • Finally, submit your report and wait for a response. 

YouTube Against Piracy

Google-owned YouTube is the most used video-sharing social media platform launched in 2005. For the past many years, it has been widely used by creators and brands for video creation and providing information to potential audiences. Despite being excessively useful to businesses, the platform has a massive amount of pirated content, which substantially impacts original creators and brands. Consequently, YouTube invests in Copyright Management Suite, which gives copyright holders the right to protect their content. 

The Copyright Management Suite consists of DMCA form which allows users to takedown infringed content from the platform by following the below-mentioned steps: 

  • Visit this link to report the content
  • Add the video that has been infringing on your copyright and you want YouTube to remove
  • Provide personal details as requested
  • Choose the appropriate removal options
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Submit the form and wait for YouTube to revert to your report. 

The Copyright Management Suite also consists of the Copyright Match Tool, which allows copyright owners to automatically identify infringing content available on the platform. After identifying duplicate content, the owner can decide what action they want to take. In addition, the Management Suite also included Content ID which allows the content uploaded on YouTube to be scanned. The content is scanned and matched with a database of audio and visual content that’s been submitted to YouTube by copyright owners. If the uploaded content matches the Content ID, then YouTube takes action against the same. 

WhatsApp Against Piracy 

WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging application globally. People can easily connect with their close ones despite being miles away. The platform provides its users with the facilities of audio calling, video calling, and even status updates. However, piracy also flourishes on the messaging application. Malicious links and advertisements are disseminated with greater ease. Furthermore, piracy of movies, books, and movies is also spread through the application. 

In one of the famous incidents that took place in India, the court ordered WhatsApp to delete suspicious WhatsApp accounts for pirating a movie named ‘Radhe.’ The Zee Entertainment movie, which was scheduled for its release, was pirated and circulated in various WhatsApp chats and groups. Consequently, Zee filed official complaints where the court ordered WhatsApp to delete user accounts that have been infringing on copyrighted content. 

WhatsApp follows lengthy terms and conditions which does not allow its users to share various types of content. On coming across content that infringes on someone’s copyright, the company bans the account. If you come across content that infringes your copyright, you can email the company about your concern. The messaging application will revert and take appropriate action against the same. 

Telegram Against Piracy 

Like WhatsApp, Telegram is also a famous messaging application that has widely and repeatedly been talked about, when it comes to piracy. One of the most appreciated features of Telegram is that its users can hide their identities. Although the feature helps businesses and journalists in gaining useful insights, it has also been one of the biggest reasons for the ever-growing piracy of content on the platform. It allows its users to share pirated videos, movies, books, songs, etc. to Telegram groups without revealing their identity. This signifies that catching pirates is mostly not possible on the platform. 

The strong end-to-end encryption of the platform makes it cumbersome to find pirates active on the platform. However, that does not signify that the platform supports piracy of any form. One can report the same to the messaging application by going through the DMCA takedown process. The DMCA process involves sending a DMCA notice to Telegram. After receiving the notice, Telegram will send your notice to the alleged infringer. After that, he/she can send a counter-notice where they can justify the disagreement with the notice. In some cases, you might expect the deletion of the account. However, in other cases, there are chances that you will receive the counter-notice of the alleged infringer. When it comes to piracy, Telegram falls behind in the measures that it takes to combat the problem, making it a platform where piracy takes place in huge numbers. 

How Does Social Media Piracy Impacts Us? 

Although social media piracy seems harmless and sometimes even enjoyable, it impacts us all in multifarious ways: 

  • Impacts on Businesses: When premium content of brands gets pirated and consumed online free of cost, it bears them a huge sum of money, loss of followers, and transfer of wrong information. This not only impacts the sales and revenue of an organization but also makes its brand image suffer big time. 
  • Impacts on Creators: Creating content is creative. However, widespread piracy of social media platforms leads creators to feel discouraged and unmotivated from creating good quality content. Furthermore, piracy makes them lose followers and engagement, keeping aside the high monetary loss. 
  • Impacts on Users: Only the creators and businesses are not at risk of piracy. Even the users face threats of being duped and defrauded by malicious links and adverts. With pirated content flooding the social media platforms, it becomes arduous to recognize the real content. Many times, users become prey to piracy without even knowing. 
  • Impacts on Social Media Platforms: The growing cases of piracy moreover impact the owners of top social media platforms. When cases of piracy over-grow, the application becomes less reliable for the audience, making them switch to newer companies and applications. This signifies that in the long run, piracy also leads to losses to social media platforms themselves. Fraudful advertisements and links make customers lose their trust in the platforms. 

Conclusion

As the importance of social media continues to rise in our lives, it’s crucial that being on these platforms is safe. However, with the outbreak of unprecedented epidemic conditions, the dependency on digital media increased significantly. This furthermore led to an increase in piracy on these platforms, which became a concern for creators, business owners, and users as well. Although brands always followed a piracy policy that avoided infringers from spreading premium content, in the past few years there have been increased efforts to strengthen these policies. 

Platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook employed advanced automated tools and machine learning to track pirated content and delete it automatically in order to avoid it from affecting the owners. In addition, the process of reporting malicious content on these platforms has been simplified. YouTube also uses a Copyright Management Suite for protecting its users from piracy online. Messaging applications like WhatsApp and Telegram are also taking steps to safeguard their users from being duped by piracy on their platforms. 

Piracy on social media is prevalent in today’s technologically advancing world in huge numbers. It not only affects the users but drastically impacts the business owners, creators, and social media platforms also. Being affected by social media piracy is not an option, protection is better than cure. Explore Bytescare’s piracy protection services