Facebook has truly made the live broadcasting mainstream. Everyone is now using their tools whether it’s a brand, celebrity, or even a person streaming his/her birthday party. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t get popular. Facebook is the leading social network out there and has the most active user base containing over a Billion accounts. Any feature they’ve released in the past has mostly attained wings of success. However, keeping some recent events in mind, Facebook Live has also become an incessant center of controversy as people continue to misuse it for drawing attention. Although, now, it seems users have found another way to conduct chicanery.

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A bunch of Facebook pages has been streaming pirated movies through Facebook Live. These broadcasts are indeed, receiving a tremendous response with thousands of users watching and interacting with other viewers at the same time. “Live Movies” itself has been a popular search term on the social network which does make us wonder as to why Facebook hasn’t taken any action till now.

Guess what? Pages are even taking public movie requests for better engagement. The most concerning aspect of these fraud practices is that users can actually use third-party tools and download the video files as even after the stream has ended, hosting accounts are not taking them off (not that it keeps them on the right side of law).

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Cases of Facebook Live misuse, however, are endless and the free tools are being constantly exploited to lure in a large number of viewerships. Recently, multiple accounts were streaming NASA International Space Station and Mars rover videos claiming that they’re being broadcasted live. These channels, as a result, were watched by Millions. Hence, it’s safe to say that the issue has reached a point where Facebook will have to take immediate core measures as terminating some particular pages won’t be the solution now. Pretty sure there are no easy means for Facebook to quickly detect which live stream is illegal and act swiftly, considering the sheer number of people who have easy access to this technology.

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If we talk about legality, on the Facebook end, these streams in no way, violate their terms which mention that this kind of activities will be taken down by our moderators if reported. However, they’re being duplicated from the original content owner and hence, it’s obvious that live streaming a movie or any other video without copyrights is promoting piracy. Interestingly, some users are also using Facebook Live for live streaming sports!

It is worth noting that Facebook Live isn’t the first solution for live-streaming videos, but surprisingly, it has been the first where such deceitful cases are rising. The most obvious reason has to be convenience and of course, the rate at which posts go viral on Facebook. Unlike traditional live streaming sites, one doesn’t need to worry anything about buying a domain, setting up a CMS, worrying about hosting, bandwidth, loaf or anything else. Yes, it’s same with YouTube Live too, but the reach and virality of Facebook is at an altogether different level.

It will be fascinating to see how Facebook will react to this and what kind of policy they’ll implement, once they realize what mess their applications are causing.

The post was updated with details about live sport events being streamed on Facebook Live.


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Shubham is based out of Ahmedabad, India and is studying to be a Computer Engineer, while specializing in mobile applications. He loves covering what's new in the smartphone space and aims to make it his primary profession some day.