Sunday, October 29, 2006

Spamming YouTube

In his post, "Gaming YouTube for Fun and Profit", Pete Cashmore looks at how easy it is to get a video featured in YouTube's most popular lists:
YouTube is increasingly being gamed by users.

It's exceptionally easy to rank among the most viewed videos and channels by simply refreshing the page. This widespread gaming might also throw into question YouTube's claim of serving 100 million videos per day.

I grabbed a video called "Sheep" ... and re-uploaded it under the username "themusichall". I realized that I'd lost the audio in the process (converted it to the wrong format), but decided to leave it like that - nobody would voluntarily share a 7 second clip with no audio.

I then set the page to refresh itself over Sunday night and - sure enough - it was among the most viewed clips this morning. Admittedly, 10,000 or so views doesn't get you to the top - it's on the 3rd "Most Viewed" page and ranks 10th in the Comedy category ... [but] it's pretty obvious how you could attain the number one spot.
See also my previous post, "Digg struggles with spam".

See also my earlier post, "YouTube is not Googly".

[Pete Cashmore post found via Matt Marshall]

Update: Just two months later, Mark Cuban looks at the top videos for Dec 2006 on YouTube and says, "That's what Youtube has become. Fake Porn and Commercials ... How long before fake porn just takes over? It was 9 of the top 20 for the week as I write this." Dare Obasanjo adds, "I doubt Google spent $1.62 billion for Youtube just to watch it turn into a haven for fake porn."

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