When YouTube conducts an audit the company is thorough. Recently, the website took down billions of hits on videos for violating the company’s policy on attracting page views and likes. Apparently some companies (as well as individual users) have been employing ‘black hat’ manipulation techniques to earn bloated likes and page views—which means the videos using these techniques have been better promoted on YouTube’s site.

Hardest hit in this video cull were two music labels—Universal and Sony. The former lost over a billion Youtube page views in a single day, losing videos from prominent artists like The Biebs and others on the site. Sony was also hit pretty hard during the mass deletion process; that label lost 850 million page views in one fell swoop. The Daily Mail has created graphs showing the quick decline of Sony and Universal videos on the site and is also reporting hundreds of other users have sent complaints to YouTube, stating their videos have been deleted from the site. The video service doesn’t seem to be backing down, however, and have taken a line on the issue.
“This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy.”

In case you were worried, “Gangnam Style” still has over a billion page views, and Justin Bieber's “Baby ft. Ludacris” is still going strong. In fact, since a lot of music companies now work through the VEVO service, many of those page views have not changed or been deleted. We’ll see if these YouTube bad habits continue to be attempted as the weeks roll on.



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