YouTube to audit videos for fake view counts

Video-sharing website says inflated view counts are misleading fans

YouTube has begun auditing the number of views a video receives, in a bid to clamp down on phoney video figures. Photo: Bloomberg

YouTube has begun auditing the number of views a video receives, in a bid to clamp down on phoney video figures. Photo: Bloomberg

Wed, Feb 5, 2014, 12:10

Video-sharing site YouTube has begun auditing the number of views a video receives, in a bid to clamp down on phoney viewing figures.

YouTube visitors may watch more than six billion hours of video every month, but not all of those eyeballs are real, with fake views available to purchase online.

Google-owned YouTube said it will now “periodically” validate the views on videos and remove the fraudulent ones from the total.

“When some bad actors try to game the system by artificially inflating view counts, they’re not just misleading fans about the popularity of a video, they’re undermining one of YouTube’s most important and unique qualities,” YouTube software engineer Philipp Pfeiffenberger said in a blog post.

“While in the past we would scan views for spam immediately after they occurred, starting today we will periodically validate the video’s view count.”

The move follows a warning from YouTube last November, against paying companies offering to bump up view counts artificially.

“If you’re considering paying someone to increase your view count, you may want to think again. You probably won’t get what you paid for,” explained that post.

“Views generated by some third-party businesses and services will not be counted on YouTube, and can lead to disciplinary action against your account, including removing your video or suspending your account.”