DailyMotion’s New API – Bad For Bloggers!

Screencast shows how WordPress.com blogs are affected by new DailyMotion API and policies

June, 2018. If you’re a blogger, embedding videos in your posts can be a great way to communicate. But in testing, DailyMotion’s new API (sprung on end users without warning) is a disaster. Their new policy is to push clickbait videos onto blogs retroactively. This means blog posts which were once family-friendly are suddenly weaponized! As this screencast (uploaded to Vimeo) shows, a G-rated post about a children’s film was clickbaited by DailyMotion to push videos including “A shock in the nuts!!” (which shows two pigs copulating) and “NYC’s Nude Awakening – Get An Eyeful Of The Naked Tempest.” A post about self-giving, Mother Teresa, and the Dalai Lama of Tibet now pushes “The History of Body Hair,” “Real Housewives of Potomac,” and other spammy nonsense.

Unlike with YouTube, where bloggers can use rel=0 in the shortcode to suppress so-called “related videos,” we found no way to stop the clickbait videos when using DailyMotion on our WordPress.com blog. Prior to June 2018, embedded DailyMotion videos were well-behaved. If you had a blog and a DailyMotion account, you could ensure that only the videos you chose would be displayed. Now you’re at their mercy.

Because this new policy is retroactive, videos you embedded years ago may now push offensive content. Check your old posts! If your readers are being served clickbait by DailyMotion, you may want to consider moving video content to a host which respects users’ choices and doesn’t violate their trust.

WordPress.com might help with a solution by tweaking their implementation of the DailyMotion API so bloggers can use something like rel=0 in the shortcode. As this screenshot shows, WordPress.com’s own support pages aren’t immune from DailyMotion’s new, spammy policy:

DailyMotion now spams blogs (including WordPress.com support pages) with clickbait videos

Please spread the word and complain to Vivendi (which owns 90% of DailyMotion) about this “shocking” new policy. We hear a lot about normalization these days. But when companies do bad things that affect us as bloggers, we should make our voices heard. Vivendi’s contact page is here:

https://www.vivendi.com/en/contacts-en/

My non-commercial blog is about ethics, spirituality and the arts. It’s also evolved to include politics, humour, and film studies. I often include short video clips which are carefully chosen to be meaningful and relevant:

https://ethicsandspirituality.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/picasso-and-the-circus-part-1/

I can only apologize to readers for the tasteless and irrelevant content now being pushed by DailyMotion. A solution will be found, but it may take time. It would be wonderful if WordPress.com could help out those affected by implementing a shortcode that would allow suppression of these spam videos. Would also be great if Automattic could contact DailyMotion or Vivendi at the corporate level to complain about the new policy.

According to promotional material found on DailyMotion’s Wikipedia page:

In 2017, Dailymotion revamped its user-facing platform as part of the platform’s most expansive update since its inception. The new interface includes an evolved user interface that prioritises premium content from verified publishers, shifting the focus from user-generated content to top-tier video content from trusted publishers.

This PR speak apparently camouflages a crass move to hit end users with massive amounts of clickbait! Or maybe the video of pigs humping constitutes “premium content from verified porkers.” What up, DailyMotion?

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.

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