Last week, we reported that YouTube had begun an expansive campaign to rid videos of fraudulent views, slashing view counts and taking down offending clips. The video giant’s housecleaning left a variety of high profile violators in its wake, including Universal Music, Sony/BMG, RCA, and a number of unexpectedly major league artists (Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, and Beyonce chief among them). YouTube’s fake view crackdown is the most decisive move in an ongoing battle to combat the secondary market for hiring view count boosters.
Today, Daily Dot writer Chase Hoffberger shares a story about just how easy it is to make yourself look like a YouTube superstar overnight:
“On Dec. 23, a YouTube video that I’d posted in 2008 had 473 views to its name. The video was an inside joke, a clip I shot myself of a friend talking about telegrams on a balcony. It was a parody of rapper Cam’ron’s infamous callout of 50 Cent, and I believe I knew everybody who had ever watched it.
When I woke up four days later, “It’s Gonna Be a Hot Beach Week” had climbed to more than 60,000 views.
Was it friends? Family? Coincidence? Did Cam’ron reenter the national limelight? None of the above.
I bought the views. And it only cost a little more than $50.”
Hoffberger details the obscene ease of finding and purchasing views. After reporting on the crackdown and being inundated with e-mails on the ease of view-faking, the writer began an experiment to test out various services, landing on YTView, a site that claims to have “delivered” over 400,000,000 views:
“I went to YTView with the intention of buying 50,000 views from Kenzo. The process was absurdly easy: Click on any of the homepage’s eight YouTube options, reselect your “package” in a drop-down menu, then enter in the URL for the video that you’d like to boost. From there, you’re whisked away to a PayPal page and told to enter in your username and password. Once you have one, the final step is as simple as pressing ‘Pay Now.’”
Read the full story at The Daily Dot.