The Daily Dot has the story:
Google slashed the cumulative view counts on YouTube channels belonging to Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, and RCA Records by more than 2 billion views Tuesday, a drastic winter cleanup that may be aimed at shutting down black hat view count-building techniques employed by a community of rogue view count manipulators on the video-sharing site.
Universal's channel is the one that took the biggest hit. According to figures compiled by the YouTube statistics analysts at SocialBlade, the record company's YouTube channel lost more than 1 billion views from its preexisting tally of 7 billion views Tuesday.
Inflating view numbers or ratings is nothing new. I actually did find a way to hack a site’s rating system once. It was a matter of survival. Something I was writing was getting a lot of attention and very favorable ratings. I actually found some of my stories at the top of the heap a few times, something not easily achieved when there were about 300,000 other stories being told.
Then for no reason the ratings on those stories began dropping like turkeys being thrown out of a helicopter in a Thanksgiving Day Promotion. Mathematically, there was no way that the ratings could drop as fast as they were which was literally in a matter of minutes.
It always troubled me that the same authors on this particular site were always very highly rated although much of their stuff was pure crapola. So I worked on figuring out how it was being done.
I actually watched the ratings of some of my output drop several points in just seconds of real time. After having discovered the secret forumla, I would raise the ratings right back up. Not just of my stuff either. I did it for other writers I knew were being given the shaft as well.
I knew who was doing it. I even wrote some mods of the site to let them know it was being done and how it was being done especially since many users had long suspected something was dead fish rotten. This particular company had always denied that ratings manipulation was taking place. Did they fix the problem? Not really, so I left and took my wares elsewhere. But not until after I raised the rating of one of my stories to over six points. That got some attention. Why? Because the highest possible rating was only supposed to be 5 points and if everything were on the up and up, that could not have happened. After that, they finally changed the system, but I didn’t hang around. Nor was I ever acknowledged for spilling the beans. Not so much as even a kiss my ass from them, or a kiss your ass, or kiss anybody’s ass..
Want to know the complete story and what company it was? It’s really quite a bit more involved and only worthwhile to tell if enough people ask. So maybe someday.