YouTube confiscates 2 billion views from Universal and Sony

Universal and Sony Music have both had their YouTube view-counts and channels drastically cut by YouTube. A spokesman for YouTube was cryptic about the slashing, saying "This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy." The DailyDot repeats speculation from Black Hat World ("a forum where users trade tips about unethical search engine optimization tactics") where users have suggested that the entertainment giants got their ears pinned back after they were caught buying fake "likes" and "views" from a crooked botmaster.

Sony/BMG was the second largest sufferer, dropping more than 850 million views in one day, bringing its total number of views to a mere 2.3 million. RCA, which got off scot free by comparison, dipped 159 million views. Its tally now sits more modestly at 120 million views.

In addition, each label's YouTube archives are now surprisingly thin. UMG, which had long held a heavy hand in YouTube operations, now only boasts five videos on its YouTube channel, none of which are actual songs—and none of which last more than 1:23.

Sony's page, by comparison, is currently empty. The company did not respond to the Daily Dot's request for comment.

YouTube strips Universal and Sony of 2 billion fake views [Chase Hoffberger/Daily Dot] (via Reddit)


  1. entertainment giants got their ears pinned back after they were caught buying fake “likes” and “views” from a crooked botmaster.

    Isn’t that corporate fraud or something illegal like that? IANAL, obviously.

    1. Seeing as there where likely ad-revenue payouts based on this, I’m pretty sure it’s fraud. Mostly advertising providers don’t go after offenders of viewfraud/clickfraud because the economic damage is comparatively small and the cost of entering legal proceedings would exceed the damage. They usually just ban offenders for life, or a very long time.

      However viewfraud/clickfraud to the tune of billions is bound to be enough to pay a couple lawyers full time for a couple years, so they might just.

  2. And these are the companies who try to fine people gajillions of units of currency for illegally downloading their crap. How about for every fake page view, someone gets a free download.
    The sooner these dinosaurs fade away the better.

  3. It wasn’t just the big guys it was every honest Youtuber. They nailed everyone including those that did nothing illegal. 

    1. I see that Gangnam Style still has over a billion views.  So no, I don’t think they “nailed” everyone. 

  4. Often wondered what counts as a view. I’ve seen plenty videos where it was just crap and switched off after maybe 8 seconds. Does that count as a view?

  5. I consider views of my videos to be a bit of an ego boost, but nothing more.
    Are you trying to tell me that some people consider them to be worth something more? 

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