Youtube deletes Billions of "Fake Views"

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  12 December 2012
Youtube deletes Billions of "Fake Views"

It has become apparent that many people putting videos on YouTube, particularly the large music labels like Sony and Universal, used special software & hacker tactics to artificially boost their YouTube viewcount figures to as much as double or triple the real number:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...c-industry.html

Now YouTube has cracked down on the practice and deleted hundreds of millions of "fake views" from their site:

Quote: The world's biggest recording companies have been stripped of two billion YouTube hits after the website cracked down on alleged 'fake viewers'. Universal, home of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber, lost a total of one billion views in the video site’s biggest ever crackdown on artificially inflated figures. Sony was second hardest hit, with the label behind such stars as Alicia Keys, Rita Ora and Labrinth losing more than 850million views in a single day.


The Youtube analytics site SocialBlade has a listing that shows in detail who on Youtube lost how many views as a result of this "Winter Cleaning":

http://socialblade.com/youtube/top/bottom50030d

Most Subscribed 30 DaysMost Viewed 30 Days RankUserSubscribers UserVid Views 1 YourDailyLaughz-6,214 universalmusicgroup-1,015,800,4922 TheStation-4,738 sonybmg-851,488,9733 chetameister-4,733 BritneyTV-462,567,7134 lU2BE2-4,383 jawed-326,360,9085 cutewinfail-3,973 michaeljackson-287,342,0216 ireplegacyxyz-3,566 hollywoodrecords-251,670,8737 LisaNova-3,278 BlackOleg-208,498,4618 djterrorberlin-3,144 ChrisBrownTV-187,413,8149 tpindell-3,128 RCARecords-159,532,85810 hayleystudios-2,892 beyonce-151,447,94411 FeverIAm-2,634 linkinparktv-146,420,13112 TheWillofDC-2,034 shakira-137,362,15913 HappySlip-2,025 brigurl88-128,798,14014 katzenjens-2,008 tkarot-126,592,47415 stuffphillikes-1,945 AvrilLavigne-124,275,47416 craftycockneygaming-1,937 MoTv1-116,392,06417 moneymanmichael-1,933 TPainVideos-110,170,00418 TONERAPS-1,928 JordinSparks-107,012,97319 thecaptainmonk-1,902 kellyclarkson-95,925,71620 WHATTHEBUCKSHOW-1,883 jamesrfarr-95,227,185

What is stunning is that these "viewcount boosting" tactics seem to have been in use for years, possibly, and that only now has YouTube mustered the courage & determination to wipe as many of the "fake views" on YouTube as its algorithms are able to detect...

Last edited by DePaint : 12 December 2012 at 01:49 PM.
 
  12 December 2012
Ha ha, good for them. Did Gangman style lose any views?

The same thing happens on Twitter and Facebook. Apparently people have been writing software that creates and manages fake accounts. Twitter has an API, so I guess it isn't terribly difficult if you know a little Python.

My demo reel has like 11 views on Youtube, and I hope I didn't lose to many views.

-AJ
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Last edited by AJ1 : 12 December 2012 at 02:34 PM.
 
  12 December 2012
Justin Bieber's "Baby" still has 816 Million views.

Grrrrr... I was thinking that at least half of those must be "fake views", but apparently not.

In any case, kudos to Youtube for cleaning up the "fake views" so decisively.

And sorry for Sony Music, Universal et cetera on their Billion view losses... you didn't play fair, you greedy creeps, and now you are named & shamed and embarrassed in front of the entire internet.
 
  12 December 2012
Its interesting the ones the most at it are legitimate companies.

Goes to show you cant trust them. Let the market run itself and they will manipulate it so they win and no one else has a chance.
 
  12 December 2012
And IMDB should try to do the same with all those fake reviews boosting up the scores. It was notably blatant for Avengers. "Riveting!"
 
  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by vlad: And IMDB should try to do the same with all those fake reviews boosting up the scores. It was notably blatant for Avengers. "Riveting!"


The BIG QUESTION now, of course, is: In how many places is this "fake views/ratings/reviews" stuff happening?

IMDB?
Amazon?
Metacritic?
RottenTomatoes?
Others?

Also, who engineered and sold the software used to fake these views & ratings & reviews?

Probably the same A%%holes who make custom software for monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, and for placing invisible trojans on computers to spy on people...

My personal hunch is that the people who make said "Mass Surveillance Software" are also directly involved in view, ratings, reviews faking across the internet.

Who knows, maybe they even have a call center/data center built somewhere, full of people whose job is to generate fake views, ratings and reviews around the clock?

This would allow big industry to create "trends" around content products, and make sure that those trends don't collapse before they have profited mightily from it...

The whole thing is so goddamn unethical; these people should be sued for what they are doing!
 
  12 December 2012
Wink

Originally Posted by DePaint: The BIG QUESTION now, of course, is: In how many places is this "fake views/ratings/reviews" stuff happening?

IMDB?
Amazon?
Metacritic?
RottenTomatoes?
Others?

Also, who engineered and sold the software used to fake these views & ratings & reviews?

Probably the same A%%holes who make custom software for monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, and for placing invisible trojans on computers to spy on people...

My personal hunch is that the people who make said "Mass Surveillance Software" are also directly involved in view, ratings, reviews faking across the internet.

Who knows, maybe they even have a call center/data center built somewhere, full of people whose job is to generate fake views, ratings and reviews around the clock?

This would allow big industry to create "trends" around content products, and make sure that those trends don't collapse before they have profited mightily from it...

The whole thing is so goddamn unethical; these people should be sued for what they are doing!


From what I heard, it was a black hat hacker that was doing it. But it happened all the time, everywhere. There was even 5-stars army for apple appstore for a while, if i remember correctly. where you can buy "5 star reviews" for your app so that it will be pushed to the top / main page. Amazon have the same problem back then too.

Does anyone remember the non-existent movie critic? It was Sony, right? Ah yes...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Manning_(fictitious_writer)

This is why I only trust well known online friend (so that I doesn't fall to astro turf-ing either).
 
  12 December 2012
How about people make up their own minds. I have never ever looked at these ratings of who likes who or what and checked it out. Be your own person, like what you like and don't follow the crowd.

it amazes me how Sheeple just follow along endlessly. I am not shocked that big companies are doing this. This is as old as the Mining company owning the general store.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Just view it cause you want to. case solved.
 
  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by Ivan D Young: How about people make up their own minds. I have never ever looked at these ratings of who likes who or what and checked it out. Be your own person, like what you like and don't follow the crowd.

it amazes me how Sheeple just follow along endlessly. I am not shocked that big companies are doing this. This is as old as the Mining company owning the general store.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Just view it cause you want to. case solved.


We dont work like that. You cant know what something is like before trying it. Especially as most of its digital now. Its very hard to make judgements on things, especially when their is so much of it now, thats why we rely on others judgements to help us.

Companies exploit our natural tendencies to get us to do what they want.
 
  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by Calabi: Companies exploit our natural tendencies to get us to do what they want.


I never thought of it as manipulation of minds. It's more of a manipulation of a system to increase revenue - like dodging taxes by using a tax haven. It's still wrong, but it's probably not as evil as a plan to control minds.
 
  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by Ivan D Young: How about people make up their own minds. I have never ever looked at these ratings of who likes who or what and checked it out. Be your own person, like what you like and don't follow the crowd.


The problem is more likely to do with studios fraudulently boosting view numbers in order to increase the amount they get paid out through Youtube advertising.
 
  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by earlyworm: The problem is more likely to do with studios fraudulently boosting view numbers in order to increase the amount they get paid out through Youtube advertising.


That's right, and Youtube tackled it a couple of years ago. Not on the apparent scale of the recent episode, but they did crack down on people inflating their video views to gain revenue back in 2009 or 2010.
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  12 December 2012
This really doesn't surprise me.

I read somewhere that one of the companies involved lost a significant amount of revenue (in the millions of dollars,) due to having the viewing figures corrected. It is easy money for them, and they'll take it.

Personally I think it's a form of fraud and criminal charges should be taken against those involved. Of course they won't, because these companies, and their members are not the (riff-raff) general public.
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  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by DanielWray: Personally I think it's a form of fraud and criminal charges should be taken against those involved. Of course they won't, because these companies, and their members are not the (riff-raff) general public.


Yeah. If you or me uploaded something to Youtube, then faked a few hundred thousand views, I guarantee you that our accounts would be suspended, and our videos deleted, in a matter of days.

When the big boys like Sony Music and Universal Records do it, to the tune a few hundred million fake views in some cases, they don't get any shit for it. They just lose their fake viewcount one day...


That's the way 21st Century capitalism works, unfortunately.

The system rewards the big boys and gives them unlimited freedom.

Us "small fry" get few of those rewards, and the second we do something dodgy/unethical, we get punished for it in some way.

A sad State of Affairs, really...
 
  12 December 2012
Why am I not surprised that Sony is right in the middle of this. With all the dubious crap they have pulled over the years they remain firmly at the top of my shit list.
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