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Researchers Found The Widely Viewed Content On Facebook Lacks Originality

Facebook recently published a content report, highlighting all the major changes it has made over the time while also pointing out some of the noticeable traits the platform now possesses. While people pointed out everything that was wrong with the superficial review in that report focusing on the Covid-19 misinformation and the most shared domain, the folks at TheVerge have found something that most people missed. Facebook's most popularized content is actually not original. Furthermore, it was also seen that the highest viewership is secured by none other than US military veterans as a way to secure some side cash.

We know it isn't easy to create original content everyday on such a saturated platform however using plagiarism as a means to secure likes? We cannot fathom that. According to Facebook's 20 most viewed posts, 15 of the posts were stolen from somewhere else. These posts did not make a debut on Facebook while what's surprising is that some of them did not even try to hide the content was taken from somewhere else. We should applaud the ones that did make a few small changes in order to mask the fact that their content was in fact not theirs.

For instance, the second most popular post is one that originally belongs to a musician, Ace Gutta. On his Twitter account, he challenged people to do a 'I'm old but I look young' challenge where users were supposed to drop pictures of their youth. While the post received a fair response on Twitter, it was also shared widely on Facebook but the challenge was thrown out by other users with no credit given to the creator.

Another one that specially did not execute decent behavior was Christina Watt's debate on whether sugar belongs on spaghetti. The section was lighthearted and received quite a positive reaction, with over 58.6 visits, however little did they know the original pun belonged to comedian Steve Harley. He tweeted out the tagline not long ago, in fact only a week ago. This could be a pure coincidence but considering the time span in between, the chances are highly unlikely. This little incident managed to secure the 5th place on the list.

After scrolling through the list for quite some while, the researchers finally came across one true post which was made by none other than President Biden. He posted a tweet from his account on Facebook. Twitter wasn't the only platform these posts were copied from, they were stolen from all kinds of platforms including Reddit, Quora, and such.

Moving on, TheVerge researcher Casey Newton also discovered a new tactic used by a poetical group. The group allegedly hired trolls to build up pages with no specific identity. When these pages were well established, they used them to shoot out political memes. It also removes the pages where their identity is at risk of being exposed. This resulted in the highlight of Facebook's abusive audience building policy.

While the tactic isn't authentic, it surely is a clever move. As for the reposting of content, there is no strict policy against it but we don't believe in unauthentically stealing someone else's content to publicize yourself.

Photo: Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Read next: Facebook’s Dominance On Online Ad Spending Might Be Coming to an End

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