Wednesday, January 2, 2013

YouTube Enforces Viewer Count Takedowns

Over the 2012 holidays hundreds of YouTube users found that their videos have been deleted, their accounts terminated or their viewership hacked to bits or removed.

The most notable is Universal Music Group with a loss of 2 billion viewers and Sony Music/BMG with 850 million views vaporized.


I keep telling people, read and understand the Terms of Service. In this case, you want to work your way to Section 4H:

You agree not to use or launch any automated system, including without limitation, "robots," "spiders," or "offline readers," that accesses the Service in a manner that sends more request messages to the YouTube servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a conventional on-line web browser.

There is more. Also read Section 4J: the service can be terminated at any time.

The Social Blade Bottom 500 as it appeared on January 2, 2013

Dig some of those names on the right side of the list. What is in question is the viewership numbers.  Allegedly, the numbers were inflated using software bots to artificially increase the number of viewers.

I would also factor in paid for clicks from human instigators as well.

The Daily Dot has the full story.  It has been confirmed by YouTube that this is happened and not just to the big boys but rank and file YouTube users as well.

It is the buying and selling of imaginary viewers. It is the dark side of pumping up viewers to ensure that there is the appearance of success and cash money.

You would think that major corporations would know better. The attorneys for those corporations would know better.

Then there is that right and wrong thing. Many people have conceptual problems with the concept. At some of the forums I have read a constant refrain of " is not against the law so what is the problem?"

Let me add another element that this is now a multinational problem. If one script teen in another country can gin up the viewers and make far more money than his family makes in 20 years it is going to be hard to stop that kid.

Or the hundreds of others like him or her that will follow. Or the adults that enable that behavior buy purchasing the viewers or providing the forum to allow them to sell their services.

What If You Are Innocent?

I have no doubt that many folks snagged by YouTube have performed behaviors that warranted attention. I've been P.O.when I click a video for a specific breaking topic video and find out it is some tired C-cup dame trying to respond to a news story to increase her viewer numbers.

I say yank her chain and show here the door.

But there are other people who really did the work and earned legit viewers. Like the tribulation of working your way through a DCMA notice; you almost don't have a way to petition a re-evaluation.

And while you are trying to resolve the situation you may not have a YouTube account. Or your most popular video is trashed. What do you do?

It is not at all clear what is the process of clearing your name and reputation. Or perhaps that you have been a victim of a targeted assault by friends of said script teen.

In the meantime, make sure that your house is in order:
  • Have copies of your videos; which you shouldn't have to tell people but yeah you do.
  • Make a Resource Binder with proof of the content and assets used in your production.
  • Have a blog or web site independent of your web host.
  • Monitor your statistics for unusual activity or growth.
  • Have a back-up video hosting service, although don't assume that you will be automatically welcomed at Vimeo or

Other Posts of Interest


  1. I think your characterization of 'some tired C-cup dame' is uncalled for and out of line, and it removes the credibility from your article. Besides, I think there are lots more people who are not 'some tired C-cup dame' doing this on YouTube. So that is a pointless remark.

    1. With respect, there are a group of women on YouTube who display their ta-tas in order to gain viewers.

      One specific example that I remember concerned videos about the grandmother who was verbally assaulted on the school bus.

      There was a C-cup dame who took a bit of that footage as her screen shot and then presented herself as giving commentary.

      The commentary consisted of "...yeah, well this happened. I'm not sure of the details but, whatever. Please subscribe."

      The bimbette has every right to do this. I will not take her right of speech away from anyone. I have the equal right to criticize people who have no intention of doing anything more than to attract viewers for ads on their videos.

      And yes, there are women on YouTube that display their breast AND give actual content or entertainment. I have no problem with those people.


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