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Are YouTube video views being manipulated?

YouTube's redesign still a pain for some users


Fruzsina Eördögh

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 22, 2011   Updated on Aug 14, 2020, 2:40 pm CDT

It’s been two weeks since YouTube’s redesign, Cosmic Panda, was released in beta form. Initial reactions were mixed: some YouTubers loved it, others not so much

Changes already implemented include a black video box and additional size options. So how’s the rest of the beta holding up?

Entering “Cosmic Panda” in the YouTube search bar reveals YouTubers are still periodically uploading response and tutorial videos of the redesign, and in doing so, are creating a public, video archive of bugs.

KatieRaesDay’s video, titled WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!, explains her channel unexpectedly reverted back to the traditional YouTube page.  (skip the first 30 seconds if you don’t want to watch a 13 year old’s fashion show)

theshittytalker sums up his feelings towards Cosmic Panda in two words: “learned helplessness”, while godrox cites troubles getting his recent video published.

The most complained about bug, however, was the view count bug – where video views were frozen, or slow on the uptake.

keishabealxoxoxo tries to put the issue to rest in her video, “STOP COMMENTING ON THE VIEW COUNT!”

“we’re all aware, we have eyes, we can see, we know math, we know it’s wrong, YouTube’s going to fix it as soon as they can. Get over it.”

Others wondered if something nefarious was afoot.

Alex Jones, naturally, calls it a conspiracy in his video “YouTube Is Gaming The View Count

Jones explains the view counter has been more messed up than usual as of late and is convinced it’s related to corporate scheming. The date he cites coincides right around the beta release of Cosmic Panda – but Jones doesn’t connect those dots in his video.

An unnamed Google representative didn’t appear any more conspiratory than usual, explaining in a recent  e-mail it was a “bug that kept updated views from being shown. Videos were all still being recorded and should be back up soon.”

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*First Published: Jul 22, 2011, 11:49 am CDT