YouTube finally responds to issue of ‘fake plays’, deleting videos from major labels’ channels.

youtube-226x113Daily Dot reports that YouTube owners Google last week enforced the terms and conditions of the video sharing site’s view count policy, with Universal Music Group and Sony BMG’s channels apparently coming under severe scrutiny.

Until now, Google has apparently turned a blind eye to fake plays. It’s long been apparent that channel owners have been able to employ dubious companies to boost their number of views, giving videos the illusion of popularity (an issue which is just as rampant on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud).

It’s hard to sympathise with anyone involved in artificially boosting play counts, but it’s worth considering that the artists whose videos have been removed aren’t necessarily culpable. A large proportion of artists aren’t in control of their own YouTube channels. Whether they’re handled by record companies, management or third party agents, it’s highly unlikely that many of the artists involved had any knowledge of these nefarious activities. Should individual artists be punished for the actions of people working on their behalf?

The more difficult question is whether Google and YouTube will take any action to punish users who monetised their channels, then profited from the adverts placed alongside their videos. What complicates matters is that YouTube itself takes a large cut of advertising revenue. As such, it too has profited from fake views. This story could easily escalate if advertisers demand reimbursement for adverts placed alongside the offending videos.

26th December, 2012

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