social network

VKontakte began issuing strikes to communities for content, but there are questions to the algorithm

Publish someone else’s content is still possible, but now the social network encourages community owners to publish it as soon as possible, otherwise someone else will “stammer” it.

Since the beginning of the summer of 2018, VKontakte has begun actively fighting the ancient scourge of social networks – non-original content. From the speech of the company’s representatives on VK Media Day in May, when the “Nemesis” algorithmwas presented , it became clear: “VKontakte” has long wanted to somehow solve the problem of constant theft of public content from each other.

Publishers administrators acutely experienced this problem when they created (or found) some content themselves, and in a few minutes after the publication other communities published the same thing – the same picture with the same joke-podvodka. No one punished for this: no later than in 2016, the situation was the same as in the days of Durov-CEO, when the company’s inaction was justified by the fact that “this is the Internet” and the information is freely available.

Cyril Anastasin is the author of comic books "Komikaki", he worked in Yandex ( left in the end of 2016)
Cyril Anastasin is the author of comic books “Komikaki”, he worked in Yandex ( left in the end of 2016)
Cyril Anastasin is the author of comic books “Komikaki”, he worked in Yandex ( left in the end of 2016)

VKontakte took some steps to solve this problem, but actively engaged it only on June 15, 2018, when for the publication of a “non-unique” (and in fact a stolen person – only those cases where there is no authorization from the author or a link to the original content ) content social network began to give out strikes to communities. On the same day, representatives of VKontakte told what kind of penalties there are for the communities for publishing non-unique content.

1 level: 5 strikes – withdrawal from recommendations, reduced visibility of reposts;

Level 2: 10 strikes – first level punishment + disconnection from RSWC;

3 level: 15 strikes – second level punishment + disconnection from the Market platform, ban on the publication of hyperlinks.

In “VKontakte” explained that at the first level it is a question of reducing the repost of the readers of the public – that is, if one of the subscribers shares a community record in which there are at least 5 more strikes for non-unique content, then such reposts will have less coverage , than usual. RSVK is an advertising network “VKontakte” : that is, at 10 strikes, the community is disconnected from monetization through advertisements that the social network places in the “smart” tape between its posts. The market platform is a new name for the exchange of posts “VKontakte”, that is, a service through which advertisers can pay for placing entries directly on behalf of the community.

Many communities also earn their own through the publication of hyperlinks to advertisers’ sites or other lending pages on third-party sites (sometimes the projects of the “Committee”, which includes , do so). In fact, the third level of punishment prohibits the community all the main types of monetization – it remains only to post pictures and videos.

In addition, as it turned out, the presence of strikes in the community also affects the coverage of his own publications , not just the reader’s reposts. In “VKontakte” explained to that the ranking of community entries in the news stream may begin to decline from the fifth strike.

But the strikes are reset in a week . For example, if the community received ten strikes in seven days, for some time it will not be able to receive money from monetization through the RSVC, but if new strikes do not appear, the old ones will be reset, and monetization opportunities will return. It turns out that the community will be permanently disconnected from the opportunity to earn money only if it continues to systematically publish non-unique content.

Nemesis does not fight for the authorship of publications, but only for their uniqueness. That is, it is important to him who posted the first post on the VKontakte site. The first were the administrators of the other group, so the strike was well deserved. […]

If you borrow some content from other sites, it is worth pointing to a link to the source (live). Without regard to whether it will be someone to publish, except you, or you will be the first and only ones who have come up with the material to take away. There will be a link to the source – everything will be fine.

If you do not want to specify links, process the content creatively, adding something on your own – this is much more useful to the community and the audience. Original content is always appreciated more.

agent of support “VKontakte”

At the same time, VKontakte speaks about the sponsors’ support when it describes the meaning of Nemesis in its blog – but in the case of borrowing content from external sites, the social network allows it to earn community owners who simply publish it first.

Questions for “VKontakte”

Although the desire to deal with non-unique content is understandable, there is a feeling that the real effect of the algorithm differs from the claimed one. In addition, it is not completely clear how communities should completely protect themselves from obtaining strikes.

  • Why is the presence of a link to an external content source (if you believe the words of the agent) rescues from receiving a strike? The content is still non-unique;
  • The presence of an external active link in a record affects its coverage negatively – all community administrators know that: records in the form of images without links receive significantly higher coverage. “VKontakte” with a decrease in coverage demotivates to indicate the source and simultaneously punishes by strike for the lack of a link – is there any difference here?
  • Let’s say I’m the author who wants to share an interesting find with the audience. How do I know that this find has already been published in the social network? After all, when you publish “Nemesis” does not warn me about this, and then takes out a strike, which, perhaps, will not be able to appeal;
  • Let’s say I’m a community administrator who wants to continue to systematically post stolen content and get away from the strikes. If I publish such pictures on my page on behalf of the user, and then repost in the community, the author will be the user, not the community – he will not be punished? It is clear that in this case the public will not benefit from the repost (since the readers will be the original record from the user, not the community), but his readers will still receive the content;
  • If a publisher publishes a song, video clip or, say, a poll that has already been published by another public – can it also be punished for non-unique content? For example, there is a new clip of “Leningrad”, and a number of communities publish it without adding some own commentary – they can all be thrown in strikes, because they do not create unique content? Or is the work of the system limited to texts and pictures?
  • The main question: why does VKontakte consider the content from other sites unique, if it was published in the social network for the first time? Published administrators or bloggers did not create anything – they just copied it, created another take on the Internet. “VKontakte” wants the hands of users and communities to collect all the content from the Internet at home, but simply without duplication?

While VKontakte representatives answered only some of these questions: “It is impossible to know in advance that someone has published an identical post. Therefore, in order to secure itself, it is necessary either to create a new semantic unit with content from the external site, adding an opinion to the screenshot, or to indicate a link to the source. ” In addition, when asked about the case of the strike between and “cleared up” in the press service of VKontakte answered that if we had no complaints about “cleared up”, then there would be no punishment for this community – but the fact that we did not receive complaints from the “Branch” for the publication of a third-party image, was not a sufficient reason to withdraw the strike from .

On the main issue VKontakte has an explanation: “We can not index the entire Internet. While the content did not get inside the VC, we do not know anything about it – as a consequence we can not punish. The content author can always complain through the DMCA form. ” It turns out that automatically with the help of the algorithm social network will be able (in theory) to punish the authors of all duplicates, but the very first copy-master will leave without punishment. And only if the author of the content manually (he does not have access to “Nemesis”) will find a violation of his rights and prove it by DMCA, the post-violator will be deleted – but, apparently, as a strike it does not count and the monetization of the offender does not will affect.

Representatives of VKontakte promised that they would finalize the algorithm and improve the methods of its work – it seems that it’s time to discuss this publicly.

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