One of the sources RW supporters have used to rebut Resist Trump articles and reports is You Tube. Except for Google, more people search on You Tube more than they do on any other site on the web.
You Tube plays can be purchased for pennies, and delivered in bulk. That means that they are highly vulnerable to manipulation, and although You Tube has a system in place to spot and block fake views, some slip through regularly.
You Tubes fake-view ecosystem undermines credibility by manipulating digital currency which can have a "significant effect" because it can mislead consumers and allow fake news and hate speech. Recently, You Tube blocked InfoWars.
The following excerpts from a NY Times' report on fake You Tube views gives us a reason not to easily use or accept You Tube views and citations as always reputable.
Just as other social media companies have been plagued by impostor accounts and artificial influence campaigns, YouTube has struggled with fake views for years.
Inflating views violates YouTube’s terms of service. But Google searches for buying views turn up hundreds of sites offering “fast” and “easy” ways to increase a video’s count by 500, 5,000 or even five million. The sites, offering views for just pennies each, also appear in Google search ads.
To test the sites, a Times reporter ordered thousands of views from nine companies. Nearly all of the purchases, made for videos not associated with the news organization, were fulfilled in about two weeks.
One of the businesses was Devumi.com. According to company records, it collected more than $1.2 million over three years by selling 196 million YouTube views. Nearly all the views remain today. An analysis of those records, from 2014 to 2017, shows that most orders were completed in weeks, though those for a million views or more took longer. Providing large volumes cheaply and quickly is often a sign that a service is not offering real viewership.
Devumi’s customers included an employee of RT, a media organization funded by the Russian government, and an employee of Al Jazeera English, another state-backed company. Other buyers were a filmmaker working for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group, and the head of video at The New York Post. (Al Jazeera and The Post said the workers were not authorized to make such purchases and were no longer employed there.)
Multiple musicians bought views to appear more popular: YouTube views factor into metrics from the ratings company Nielsen and song charts including Billboard’s Hot 100.
At one point in 2013, YouTube had as much traffic from bots masquerading as people as it did from real human visitors, according to the company. Some employees feared this would cause the fraud detection system to flip, classifying fake traffic as real and vice versa — a prospect engineers called “the Inversion.”. . .fixes were made that relieved the fake-traffic surge, which YouTube said resulted from an attack against the website.
Years later, the battle against fake views continues, even as YouTube contends with disinformation campaigns, like Russia’s efforts during the 2016 election, and language it considers hate speech, including posts by the recently banned Infowars site.
YouTube would not disclose the number of fake views it blocked each day, but said its teams worked to keep them to less than 1 percent of the total. Still, with the platform registering billions of views a day, tens of millions of fake views could be making it through daily.
“View count manipulation will be a problem as long as views and the popularity they signal are the currency of YouTube”