Internet Law

Action taken against fake YouTube views

For a long time it has been no secret that the number of video views on the world’s largest video platform belonging to Google, YouTube, are sometimes artificially inflated. Fake YouTube views damage the credibility of the platform and now YouTube has taken action to counter fake views.

Action taken against fake YouTube views ©-jehafo-Fotolia

Action taken against fake YouTube views ©-jehafo-Fotolia

Fake YouTube views

It is well known that some users purchase YouTube views artificially boost the apparent popularity of a video, artist or product. Users engage the services of external companies, which use so-called bot technology. Up to 10,000 clicks are available for the laughable price of just $5.

Inflating the number of video views serves to increase the income from advertising revenue which YouTube pays to video producers. A high number of video clicks also suggest a certain popularity of the work or the uploader, which in the case of fake video views is not representative.

YouTube has now taken steps to counteract this fraudulent activity, through increased surveillance. The video platform maintains that only a small proportion of videos are affected by the fraudulent video views. Nevertheless, YouTube has already relied on its terms of services to delete 2,000 million video views from the profiles of Universal (UMG), Sony and Sony’s subsidiary RCA.

The platform asserts that decisive action against fake video views, including immediate deletion, is necessary as the users’ and producers’ trust in the video platform is reliant on the credibility of the product as a whole. The number of views and other feedback functions enable the uploader and the advertising market to obtain direct confirmation of a product’s popularity.

In the past, YouTube only removed spam from its video range.

Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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