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New York - Jewish Music Videos Among Those Booted By YouTube For Suspected Hit-Count Tampering

Published on: January 1, 2013 11:05 AM
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New York - Over one billion YouTube hits have been removed in recent days as the popular video sharing website cracked down on any music videos whose hit counts were deemed to be falsely inflated in an effort to boost their popularity among viewers.

According to English news source Mail Online, (http://goo.gl/qbRRV) the move, which cost music giants Sony and Universal a combined 1,850,000,000 views, had originally been thought to be a technical glitch by many, until official word came from YouTube.

“This was not a bug or security breach.  This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy,” announced the video sharing giant.

Artificially inflating hit counts make videos appear more popular than they actually are and provide better exposure on the site.  View building sites such as YouLikeHits and Fiverr offer the ability to provide additional YouTube hits, a direct violation of the YouTube Terms of Service, Part 4, Section H.

Any videos that were deemed suspect were removed and viewers who attempt to watch the video receive the message “This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s Terms of Service”.  While the videos can be reloaded to the site, the hit counter on the newly uploaded videos restarts at zero.


Among the videos removed for suspected tampering was superstar Yaakov Shwekey’s Lo Yaavod.  Mendy Pellin, producer of the video, told VIN News that when he hired a marketer to help him promote the video he had no idea he was getting involved in any questionable practices.

“I was contacted by someone who offered to help me market the video,” explained Pellin. “While Lo Yaavod had already done well with close to 200,000 hits, I had been looking for someone who could help me do a better job marketing my videos.  With its positive message of loving each and every Jew, I was hoping the video could reach a bigger audience.”

What Pellin thought was the answer to his dreams turned out to be his biggest nightmare.

“I was expecting press releases, articles in print media, being placed prominently on all the Jewish music sites,” said Pellin.  “But none of that happened.  Just 100,000 hits in a very short amount of time.  I never knew there were ways of generating automated hits and I certainly never had any intention of getting involved in anything crooked.”

Veteran music video producer Danny Finkelman has been conducting his own investigation in an attempt to find the person responsible for tampering with the numbers on his Baleichtungen video, produced for this year’s RCCS auction.  Finkelman, who has produced over twenty Jewish music videos, estimated that the video garnered approximately 40,000 views in a three week period, a number that he calls “too good to be true.”

“Doing something like this undermines the integrity of our entire business,” said Finkelman.  “There is no way to determine if it was a misguided friend who thought they were helping or someone who was intentionally looking to do harm and it doesn’t really matter.  Either way it is unethical and sad that people resort to tactics like this.”

More of today's headlines

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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »


 Jan 01, 2013 at 11:29 AM Love Jewish music Says:

I don't blame him . As thennology advance things can get really complicated. We have got to watch out for counterproductive action. One thing I know about Shweke is that he never quits. No matter what life throws on him he always learns the lesson and moves on. I see here an opportunity for Shwekey to produce a new song in overcoming setbacks. Keep up brining spirit into Jewish music!!


 Jan 01, 2013 at 03:28 PM Reb Yid Says:

Not only in this an easy way for an unscrupulous promoter to make a quick buck, it's also apparently a good way to knock your competitor's video off Youtube--just make him the subject of phony viewcount elevations. Note that the story doesn't say that Youtube *corrected* the viewcounts, it says that they *removed* the video altogether.


 Jan 01, 2013 at 03:33 PM YiddisheKup Says:

Important to note:

From all of the big Jewish Music videos online over last 2-3 years. So far only 3 videos were removed because of fake views. All of the big big ones are still there. I think there is a very valid case to be made that the shwekey one in particular might be someone with an axe to grind. It's easy to sabotage now, from youtubes own policy. If I dont like a certain video all I have to do is buy fake views and their video will come down.


 Jan 01, 2013 at 04:30 PM FinVeeNemtMenSeichel Says:

I thought Lo Yaavod is about loving G-d - not necessarily every Jew. Just sayin


 Jan 01, 2013 at 05:12 PM Yossi Says:

please explain..how does someone get fake views...?


 Jan 02, 2013 at 08:11 AM Materetsky Says:

Reply to #4  
FinVeeNemtMenSeichel Says:

I thought Lo Yaavod is about loving G-d - not necessarily every Jew. Just sayin

The video itself is about Ahavas Yisrael. It's VERY good-- you should watch it whenever it comes back up :)

I am not a shwekey promoter, lol, but I just really like the video


 Jan 02, 2013 at 01:11 PM Lo Yaavod Says:

Loved Lo Yaavod! It was one of Yossi Muller's greatest compositions.


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