Facebook to Scan Profiles for Signs of User Piracy

As if they didn’t already know enough about us…

According to a report released on Friday by TorrentFreak, the social media site has filed a patent for “Using social signals to identify unauthorized content on a social networking system”. In layman’s terms, this basically means Facebook servers will start automatically scanning your profile, post content, shared files, and available links for pirated or illegally downloaded data.

If they get a match, they’ll then use your connections to other friends to find out where the file originated, in an effort to cut down on the general anonymity that most uploaders and pirates currently enjoy in this wild West of filesharing opportunities.


The patented technology can be used to detect a wide variety of unauthorized content, but piracy in particular is a problem for social networks, Facebook explains.

“Some users abuse the content posting feature by posting content items that infringe on copyright laws or otherwise violate the social network’s terms of use. For example, users might use the content sharing feature to post chapters from popular novels, episodes of television shows, or links to web pages on external domains that might contain similar copyrighted content.”

Even streams like those found on PutLocker and SockShare will come under fire, and tag you as a user or potential target to add to their ever expanding list at their petabyte palace currently under construction in Oregon. The idea is by utilizing the profile of any given user, they’ll be able to gain a greater understanding about the filesharing community as a whole, and be able to pass the information they gain on to government agencies tasked with taking torrents down.

If you’re concerned about your privacy, chances are you aren’t using Facebook to begin with. That said, if you want to keep the service around for a reliable way to contact family members and stay current on all the latest baby photos, make sure you always use a VPN before signing back on for the umpteenth time today.

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