Extremely popular record labels not so extremely popular; YouTube removes billions of fake views from their videos

Extremely popular record labels not so extremely popular; YouTube removes billions of fake views from their videos

Inevitably, the advent of social media has coincided with a perpetual, if not always explicit, popularity contest. How many people are you friends with on Facebook? How many Twitter followers do you have? How many strangers on YouTube have subscribed to your channel, despite the complete and utter vapidity of your uploads? For some reason, there’s even a “service” that quantifies your combined popularity on these sites, which brings with it a new, though not entirely different, question… just what is your Klout score, anyway?

E-recognition isn’t just a goal for the individual. To say nothing of media and advertising companies in general, record labels have also recognized an avenue for marketing through the posting of videos on YouTube. Color me unsurprised when it was revealed a couple of weeks ago that YouTube had to significantly reduce the view count for these videos, because the record labels had, to a large extent, been faking them.

According to the Daily Dot, on December 19, YouTube removed over 2 billion views from three of the largest record labels: 1 billion from Universal Music Group, more than 850 million from Sony Music Entertainment, and 159 million from RCA Records, separately. Each label allegedly used the website Fiverr to buy views for their respective videos, affecting channels belonging to Michael Jackson, Avril Lavigne, Beyoncé, and Chris Brown. (A more mundane explanation is offered here.)

In response to related user complaints on the Google forums (as well as actions against individual users), a Google representative wrote, “This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewpoint policy.” One might also dub it an ego-deflating policy.

• YouTube: http://www.youtube.com

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