You know it. I know it. Netflix knows it.
Now, Netflix is laughing about it -- even as they're reportedly fighting against it.
First however, the "it." I'm talking about the widespread, not quite totally legitimate practice of sharing Netflix accounts.
A family gets a Netflix account, and members of the household legally use the login credentials on multiple devices.
Then maybe a kid goes off to college, or a parent shares the Netflix password at a friend's house.
Or maybe somebody even gets a bit angry at The Man and shares their Netflix login and password on Twitter.
However it happens, it happens. And suddenly you have a lot of extra people using a single household Netflix account, although they don't live in the household.
For a long time, Netflix just tolerated this practice. Other subscriptions like HBO did, too.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called it, "something you have to get used to" in a call with investors a few years ago.
More recently however, Netflix has been pushing back. Reportedly, the company believes about 10 percent of its customers aren't actually paying, which adds up to about $135 million a year in missed revenue.
Netflix is also part of an industry group called the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment that is going after "improper password sharing" in the new year.
Still, we can joke. So, apparently can Netflix.
Because when a Twitter user in India posted a clearly fake offer--a "free Netflix subscription for six months" if you'd just be one of the first 10,000 people to call a certain telephone number--Netflix (actually Netflix India) replied:
"This is absolutely fake. If you want free Netflix please use someone else's account like the rest of us."
This is absolutely fake. If you want free Netflix please use someone else's account like the rest of us. https://t.co/PHhwdA3sEI-- Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) January 4, 2020
As of this writing, it's at 361,000 likes and 83,000 retweets. That's pretty viral in my book. And it's also pretty funny.
As Robert DeNiro put it in The Untouchables (not currently available on Netflix): "We laugh because it's funny and we laugh because it true."
They did it in 2019; they did it in 2018 and 2017. And so far, Netflix is keeping it up in 2020.