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Did Facebook temporarily take down the AIB net neutrality video to push for its own native video?

By: Soumyadip Choudhury

IBNLive.com

Last Updated: April 13, 2015, 11:32 IST

Did Facebook temporarily take down the AIB net neutrality video to push for its own native video?

While AIB thought it to be a glitch, many saw this as a deliberate move by Facebook. We add another twist.

New Delhi: This weekend the Indian Internet was buzzing about net neutrality and comedy collective All India Bakchod's first video after the AIB Roast controversy had a lot to do with it.

Worried Indian Internet users, fearful of losing out on the free Internet, watched the video, shared it massively and sent emails to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with their opinion on what they think of how India should adopt net neutrality.

Then all of sudden, the AIB post with the video, was inaccessible, to both AIB fans as well as the managers of the page.

While AIB thought it to be a glitch, many saw this as a deliberate move by Facebook - a company that has been accused of violating net neutrality principles.

While the post was later restored, leading many to believe that it was indeed merely a glitch. "Guys @facebook did NOT remove #NetNeutrality vid. Was shared so quick their algorithm thought it was spam," tweeted AIB's Rohan Joshi.

While that could be a plausible reason, I would also like to explore another equally plausible theory.

Facebook has been aggressively promoting its native videos, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg projecting that Facebook will be mostly video in next five years. This means that Facebook wants users to upload videos, instead of merely sharing links to videos from other competing platforms.

The AIB post in question, included a link to the video from their YouTube channel and not a native Facebook video.

It is worth highlighting here that the AIB YouTube channel has over a million subscribers and their videos have been watched over 66 million times. And AIB has posted only three videos on their official Facebook page, that too merely teasers not the full-length stuff.

Popular video content producers, such a AIB, are the types that Facebook would want on-board their video platform. And given that Facebook is yet to widely roll out its video monetisation tool, many publishers are reluctant to go full steam ahead with Facebook video.

This temporary removal of content could very well be Facebook's hint to publishers that such inconveniences of algorithmic misunderstandings are less likely to occur had it been a native Facebook video.

first published:April 13, 2015, 11:32 IST
last updated:April 13, 2015, 11:32 IST
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