Daily Dot | YouTube strips Universal and Sony of 2 billion fake views: " . . . Other notable channels affected include the ones belonging to Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Beyoncé, and Avril Lavigne, among others. More than 500 prominent YouTube channels have been stripped of preexisting YouTube views in the past 30 days, something that causes concern when you consider that YouTube views counts, unlike subscriber statistics, are cumulative and cannot organically drop at any point throughout their existence. Google's takedown of these major music channels came on the same day that hundreds of YouTubers took to Google forums and their own YouTube channels to inform their peers that they'd been subject to a series of video takedowns for violations of YouTube's Terms of Service (TOS). Some speculated that the widespread video takedowns were caused by a technical error, but YouTube confirmed that the users violated TOS item 4, Section H, which bans automated methods of inflating view counts. "This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy," wrote a Google representative on the forums. The apparent crackdown on fake views became a major talking point Wednesday on Black Hat World, a forum where users trade tips about unethical search engine optimization tactics. The thread's first post alluded to a friend of the poster who "sells likes" and was recently told by four different customers that their videos "got deleted due to TOS violation." . . ."
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