New York – Over one billion YouTube hits have been removed in recent days as the popular video sharing website cracked down on any music videos whose hit counts were deemed to be falsely inflated in an effort to boost their popularity among viewers.Join our WhatsApp group
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According to English news source Mail Online, (http://goo.gl/qbRRV) the move, which cost music giants Sony and Universal a combined 1,850,000,000 views, had originally been thought to be a technical glitch by many, until official word came from YouTube.
“This was not a bug or security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy,” announced the video sharing giant.
Artificially inflating hit counts make videos appear more popular than they actually are and provide better exposure on the site. View building sites such as YouLikeHits and Fiverr offer the ability to provide additional YouTube hits, a direct violation of the YouTube Terms of Service, Part 4, Section H.
Any videos that were deemed suspect were removed and viewers who attempt to watch the video receive the message “This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s Terms of Service”. While the videos can be reloaded to the site, the hit counter on the newly uploaded videos restarts at zero.
Among the videos removed for suspected tampering was superstar Yaakov Shwekey’s Lo Yaavod. Mendy Pellin, producer of the video, told VIN News that when he hired a marketer to help him promote the video he had no idea he was getting involved in any questionable practices.
“I was contacted by someone who offered to help me market the video,” explained Pellin. “While Lo Yaavod had already done well with close to 200,000 hits, I had been looking for someone who could help me do a better job marketing my videos. With its positive message of loving each and every Jew, I was hoping the video could reach a bigger audience.”
What Pellin thought was the answer to his dreams turned out to be his biggest nightmare.
“I was expecting press releases, articles in print media, being placed prominently on all the Jewish music sites,” said Pellin. “But none of that happened. Just 100,000 hits in a very short amount of time. I never knew there were ways of generating automated hits and I certainly never had any intention of getting involved in anything crooked.”
Veteran music video producer Danny Finkelman has been conducting his own investigation in an attempt to find the person responsible for tampering with the numbers on his Baleichtungen video, produced for this year’s RCCS auction. Finkelman, who has produced over twenty Jewish music videos, estimated that the video garnered approximately 40,000 views in a three week period, a number that he calls “too good to be true.”
“Doing something like this undermines the integrity of our entire business,” said Finkelman. “There is no way to determine if it was a misguided friend who thought they were helping or someone who was intentionally looking to do harm and it doesn’t really matter. Either way it is unethical and sad that people resort to tactics like this.”