Weekly News Roundup (February 17, 2019)
So how did you spend your Valentine’s Day/Singles Awareness Day/Just Another Thursday then? Whichever way you spent that day, hope the rest of your week was good nonetheless. We do have a bit of news to go through this week, I guess the year has started proper now, so let’s get through ’em!
In this week’s “I didn’t see that coming! #sarcastic” story, YouTube’s copyright take-down system is now being abused by blackmailers.
This is how it works. Blackmailers are submitting fraudulent copyright abuse notices, resulting in some smaller channels getting two copyright strikes. Channels that receive 3 copyright strikes in a 3 month period will have their channels disabled, and the blackmailers know this. This is when the extortion attempt occurs, with the blackmailers sending an “offer” to channel owners to pay up (and have the 2 strikes reversed) or face the prospect of a third strike.
Channel owners can appeal any of these strikes, but the laborious process could see their channels disabled during the process, which can take weeks.
Two channel owners who were at the end of such a scam reported it to YouTube, but the streaming platform didn’t do anything about it until both aired their problems publicly, on Twitter (and incidentally, the scammers also tried to get one of the channel owner’s Twitter suspended as well for not following instructions to stay quiet) and Reddit. It was only when both attempts at seeking help became a news story, that YouTube finally acted and cleared all the fraudulent strikes, and banned the blackmailer’s accounts too.
The fact that YouTube didn’t take the matter seriously until they were called out for it in the public arena is troubling, but unfortunately, not that uncommon.
It wasn’t a huge loss for the blackmailers, it turns out, as their accounts were only recently created ones attached to a throwaway email account. It’s very likely they will attempt the same trick again, only this time, the unsuspecting victims might not get a viral response to their pleas. It’s also very likely that they’ve already tried found success with their previous efforts!
Over at Streambly, the latest “binge chart” saw Netflix’s Russian Doll go straight to the top after its recent release. The strength of Netflix, in particular, the strength of Netflix’s Original shows can be clearly seen in the top 10, with no less than 5 Originals in the top 10, and with some of the others being Netflix streaming exclusives as well.
There were only two shows in the top 10 that were older shows that had already ended their run. In third place was ‘Friends’, which Netflix paid a significant amount of money for, and ‘Gossip Girl’, which is also on Netflix.
Hopefully, the weekly binge report will become a regular feature on Streambly, so keep an eye peeled for more updates here if anything interesting happens.
That’s all we have for this week. I know it’s not much, but sometimes that’s just how the week goes. See you next week.