It isn't exactly a secret that with a certain amount of cash, people can pay for views, followers, and likes on their accounts and profiles on social networks. This is something Facebook and Twitter have battled for years. Now, YouTube is cracking down too.
The video-hosting service announced Tuesday that it is carrying out periodic audits of videos in an effort to rid its site of "fraudulent views."
"YouTube isn't just a place for videos, it's a place for meaningful human interaction. Whether it's views, likes, or comments, these interactions both represent and inform how creators connect with their audience," YouTube software engineer Philipp Pfeiffenberger wrote in a blog post. "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."
In the past, YouTube scanned videos views for spam as soon as the views were posted. But now, the company will audit various videos, looking at the view count, and removing any fake views. YouTube said that it believes these audits will only affect a "minuscule fraction" of videos on the site.
Pfeiffenberger wrote that YouTube believes these audits are "crucial to improving the accuracy of view counts and maintaining the trust of our fans and creators."
Facebook and Twitter have long tried to clean their sites of fake likers and followers. Twitter prohibits creating fake accounts or buying and selling followers. Over the years, it has suspended accounts believed to be phony. Instagram also has experienced issues with false likes -- in August it was reported that hackers were selling thousands of rigged photo likes.