Financial News

  • 6 February 2014, 4:21

YouTube To 'Audit' For Fake Video View Counts

YouTube has announced it will audit video view figures on its website to help prevent what it calls "fake views".

It said the new system would help stop videos being artificially inflated in perceived popularity.

Software programmes can be used to 'buy' views and cost as little as $50 (30) for 60,000 fake views.

As a result, the Google-owned company said it would periodically scan view counts to thwart inflated figures.

In a blog post, it said: "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.

"As part of our long-standing effort to keep YouTube authentic and full of meaningful interactions, we've begun periodically auditing the views a video has received."

The company's scan software previously checked for spam when a video was posted. It will now revisit videos at various times after they are uploaded.

Fraudulent views can be used to raise profile of the person who posted a video or as a way of attracting advertising - raising revenue for both the owner and Google.

The Google blog post said the new system would not affect "more than a miniscule fraction" of videos.

It added: "But we believe it's crucial to improving the accuracy of view counts and maintaining the trust of our fans and creators."

In December 2012, YouTube reportedly wiped two billion fake video views from major record company websites, affecting some of the industry's biggest names.

Meanwhile, the EU competition commission has agreed "far-reaching" concessions by Google to settle claims it has abused its 90% dominance within the union over internet search results.

The agreement comes at the end of a three-year-old case and the search giant will now display some results in Europe of its competitors.

The settlement thwarts a potential monopoly breach fine that may have cost it up to 10% of annual revenue, or around 3bn.

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