Many social sites have had to deal with gaming in one form or other. Digg for example, has had big issues with people trying to game the content. Some say that it’s a legitimate form of marketing in a social media age like we have today while others say that manipulating content should not be tolerated. There’s no way to confirm for sure that YouTube is being gamed, but from the looks of it, they are.
If you take a look at the most viewed videos of all time, you’ll see that Evolution of Dance (EoD) is no longer #1 (it’s held that spot for quite some time now) and in its place is a video called “CANSEI DE SER SEXY Music is My Hot Hot Sex (CSS)” By watching the video, you’ll see there’s absolutely nothing exciting about it. Google Blogoscoped described it perfectly by saying “it’s a neon-colors fan-made production showing people dancing and posing to a song also used in an iPod ad.” It has 89,750,739 views compared to 77,249,245 views for Evolution of Dance which is why it’s number one. Below is the new #1 video:
Looking at some of the other statistics makes us question whether it legitimately is really the most popular video.
- Evolution of Dance has received 271,379 ratings while CSS has received 4,764 ratings which is a difference of 266,615
- EoD has been favorited 394,696 times while CSS has been favorited 10,834 times which is a difference of 383,862
- EoD has 123,644 comments while CSS has 4,459 comments which is a difference of 119,185
When you look at those differences, something just doesn’t seem right. Andy Baio of Waxy.org used the YouTube API to investigate further and compared the ratio of social activity to the view count, and what he found is nearly enough to prove that not only is CSS being gamed, but there are others on the list of most popular videos that could potentially be gamed as well. He says:
If you look at the ratio of views-to-ratings, you’ll see the CSS video has a very unusual 21,487-to-1 ratio. In other words, for every 21,487 views, someone leaves one rating. To compare the average ratio for ever other video in the top 10 is a more reasonable 590-to-1. This ratio is representative of other popular videos, too; the median ratio for the entire top 500 is 545-to-1. Skimming down the list, you can see some other strange videos that might raise eyebrows.
Just like many other social sites out there, it appears as though YouTube may have to take a look at ways that they could prevent people from manipulating the system. Is there a bug, or is someone really cheating? We do wonder though, if someone were cheating, how this is of benefit to them when there are no advertisements. Any thoughts?