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The YouTube cull

DELETED: YouTube delete billions of ‘fake views’ following a recent audit

STARS INCLUDING Rihanna and Nicki Minaj may have their YouTube views slashed after the video sharing website cracked down on alleged fake views.

The biggest hit was taken by Universal, home of the Bajan beauty and the Young Money rapper, which lost more than one billion views from its total of seven billion, according to figures compiled by YouTube statistics analysts at SocialBlade.

Sony was second hardest hit, with the label behind such stars as Alicia Keys, Rita Ora and Labrinth losing more than 850million views in a single day.

The view count culls will be damaging to the labels affected since YouTube is now the web's premier outlet for music videos. Over four billion hours of video are watched by over 800million unique visitors to the site each month, reports Mail Online.

The number of views on YouTube are widely regarded as an unofficial worldwide popular music chart, so artificially building up the numbers of views or likes on a video - enabling them to make clips appear far more popular than they really are - could threaten the credibility of artists.

YouTube viewer figures are doubly valuable to channel owners since it is also the primary way in which the site works out how to share its advertising revenue with partners.

The dramatic falls come after YouTube conducted an audit of its viewing figures aimed at combating black hat view count-building techniques.

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