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YouTube strips Universal and Sony of 2 billion fake views
 
News December 21, 2012
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Chase Hoffberger

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YouTube

Google slashed the cumulative view counts on YouTube channels belonging to Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, and RCA Records by more than 2 billion views Tuesday, a drastic winter cleanup that may be aimed at shutting down black hat view count-building techniques employed by a community of rogue view count manipulators on the video-sharing site.

Universal's channel is the one that took the biggest hit. According to figures compiled by the YouTube statistics analysts at SocialBlade, the record company's YouTube channel lost more than 1 billion views from its preexisting tally of 7 billion views Tuesday.

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Photo via SocialBlade

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.

 

Other notable channels affected include the ones belonging to Michael JacksonChris BrownBeyoncé, and Avril Lavigne, among others. More than 500 prominent YouTube channels have been stripped of preexisting YouTube views in the past 30 days, something that causes concern when you consider that YouTube views counts, unlike subscriber statistics, are cumulative and cannot organically drop at any point throughout their existence.

Google's takedown of these major music channels came on the same day that hundreds of YouTubers took to Google forums and their own YouTube channels to inform their peers that they'd been subject to a series of video takedowns for violations of YouTube's Terms of Service (TOS). Some speculated that the widespread video takedowns were caused by a technical error, but YouTube confirmed that the users violated TOS item 4, Section H, which bans automated methods of inflating view counts. 

"This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy," wrote a Google representative on the forums.

The apparent crackdown on fake views became a major talking point Wednesday on Black Hat World, a forum where users trade tips about unethical search engine optimization tactics.

The thread's first post alluded to a friend of the poster who "sells likes" and was recently told by four different customers that their videos "got deleted due to TOS violation."

"Now I also got a message from a customer who ordered views from me that his video was removed," the individual wrote, sparking a six page conversation that continues on to this moment—and mentions Universal Music Group throughout.

"I spoke with some people on Skype and 2-3 more have the same problems with videos being removed for fake views," the original poster added in a later post. "Likes are from YLH (YouLikeHits) and AddMeFast and views from ViralSocial in my case."

Later in the thread, the conversation turned towards an individual known in some online circles as Tapangoldy, a 16-year-old seller of YouTube views who is prominent on the cheap favors website Fiverr and claimed last month to have already raised $60,000 through the site. Recently, he closed up shop for a few days "to fix all issue thanks."

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Photo via Fiverr

Tapangoldy, who among other things had offered YouTubers an excess of 10,700 new views to any video of their choosing for $5, held a 98 percent "Gig Rating" before becoming inundated with negative reviews on Wednesday, most of which painted him as a fraud who uses bots to accrue YouTube views.

Although Tapangoldy seems to be one of the top-rated sellers of YouTube views, he isn’t the only Fiverr user whose business has been affected. One Black Hat World user wrote, “I'm just having great fun watching the Fiverr bloodbath. Most the top rated gigs for views are either paused or being flooded with bad reviews.”

How closely is Tapangoldy tied to Universal, Sony, and RCA? It's something we can't presently confirm. The Daily Dot has been unable to contact him during his temporary exile, and he could have nothing to do with the labels’ overnight YouTube collapse. But Tapangoldy's sudden change in fortune comes at an interesting time considering all of the preexisting elements, their pertinence to the major label music structure or otherwise.

YouTube did not respond to the Daily Dot's request for comment.

UPDATE: Universal acknowledged the sudden drop in views, and told the Daily Dot that the Universal Music Group channel, though popular, has been mostly dormant since the company shifted its focus to individual channels hosted on Vevo, which Universal founded in conjunction with Sony Music, Abu Dhabi Media Company, and E1 Entertainment in 2009.

Photo via Tapangoldy/Fiverr

 

 

yo afroman whats happend with link up tv brah

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alie bare took off the storm millian ting i was tryna listen to

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So anyone who paid for views has had their vids removed completely? Cos I can see quite a few I subscribed to without vids.

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so linkup tv gone? who else? a few uk rappers must of been hit

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so linkup tv gone? who else? a few uk rappers must of been hit

i knew they bought views was bait...no one was checking for raitlin/squeeks dat hard.

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Was just talking about paid views today to someone.

 

Was wondering when Youtube were going to crackdown.

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To be honest who ever is complaining about their videos being removed needs to man up, its known that if you pay for views eventually your material will get removed, if anything when paying for views you need to have a strategy  on how to direct your new viewers to subscribe to another social media network which your using. 

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so linkup tv gone? who else? a few uk rappers must of been hit

i knew they bought views was bait...no one was checking for raitlin/squeeks dat hard.

 

says on twitter they've been hacked

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Linkups got nothing to do with purchased views

Ratlins numbers are legit still. 

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hearing gangnam style or whatever it's called got to 1 billion views..fucking crazy

how much would that pay out?.. rough ball park figure?

iv got no clue

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i hope you dont mean 8 to 9 million pounds, I would say you have no clue whatsoever about this field

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i hope you dont mean 8 to 9 million pounds, I would say you have no clue whatsoever about this field

 

fuck off, i remember i read about it yesterday

 

dollars

 

edit: u really dont know shit about me to gather were im knowledgeable 

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sweet mate, but you still dont know what your on about

 

if man got 10 bags off them billion views he done nice

 

thats pounds or dollars btw mate, either will do

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if man got 10 bags off them billion views he done nice

 

wow

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lol at 8 or 9 million though

 

15-1 click through rate on a viral music video that would have no product based advertisement

 

yarrr

 

 

Edit- I didnt see your reply, whats your wow about mate?

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man said 10 bags

 

idiot

man typed

 

idiot

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hearing gangnam style or whatever it's called got to 1 billion views..fucking crazy

how much would that pay out?.. rough ball park figure?

iv got no clue

 

http://socialblade.com/youtube/user/officialpsy

 

Estimated Averages...

£4.9K - £45.4K /day

£1.8M - £16.6M /yr

 

 

 

Ed Sheeran and XL Recordings had views removed around the same time Sony etc did. Not linkuptv though.

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Im sure he cashed in on the tours, saw him everywhere, germany, austria, switzerland, holland, france literally on every tv show

 

but at the same time, if you do not know how people are paid for advertising, and how it would be impossible to even guess at a number if you arent able to view the account.

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150 bags from the views

 

chump change extortion tbh

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That youtube Vid has made 2 mil 

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was expecting more to be honest

1000 million views ent no joke

i thought people made "decent money" off of say 500k views but i guess not.

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