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This is my first question on SuperUser [note: I posted this on StackOverflow, but was informed it was more relevant here; apologies for double posting]. I hope someone can help me.

I recently received 3 emails from YouTube telling me that I was guilty of a breach of their Terms of Use (TOU). Specifically,

This following video was found in Violation of TOU #4 Section H:

[My Video]

http://www.youtube.com/t/terms

"You agree not to use or launch any automated system, including without limitation, "robots", "spiders" or "offline readers", that accesses the Service in a manner that sends more request messages to the YouTube servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a conventional on-line web browser.

I have checked for myself, and 7 of my top-viewed videos (out of 200) have "spikes" in viewer numbers on 5 specific dates in Nov 2013. The viewer numbers are over 1000 in one day, for a video that normally gets around 50 per day. A lot of the traffic has appeared to come from India, Romania and Turkey. All of the "bogus" traffic has been via "embedded plays" via Twitter.com .

Could a person create this from "outside" my account? I have good passwords that I keep separate from other accounts, so I don't believe my YT password has been compromised.

My next question is "Why would someone do this to me?" I can't see what anyone else could get from this, except perhaps for a business competitor to get YouTube to suspend my account, which they have threatened. Could anyone get any other sort of benefit from getting me banned from YT? Does YT have any sort of protection for users from such an attack?

Finally, is there something I can do to prevent this from happening again? It looks like someone could get you banned by YT without any possibility of stopping them. If that is the case, how could any performer stop a disgruntled fan from taking down their account?

migrated from superuser.com Jan 1 '14 at 0:26

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  • If your video is a flash file, could it be infected or containing some cross linking coding? Also, are you willing to share your youtube channel, so we can take a look ? Your actuel post only states [My Video] with no link or nothing. – Milche Patern Dec 27 '13 at 3:52
  • Have you tried to publish 'too much' videos one after the other ? Also, you can try to search the web for pieces of your video such has the link, the embeded ID or the title. Maybe you'll find some websites re-tagging your content or something like. – Milche Patern Dec 27 '13 at 4:14
  • My YT channel is here: youtube.com/user/ClassroomProfessor – ProfPete Dec 27 '13 at 4:28
  • The videos aren't flash files, they were just uploaded in the normal way. The problem has nothing to do with frequency of uploading, it's about the number of "apparent views". – ProfPete Dec 27 '13 at 4:41
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Looks like someone just linked to your http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=something URLs from Twitter posts. You're not telling anything about the Twitter accounts; they could be fake as well. The 'attack' can have happened through real tweets or through the Twitter API.

Could be almost anything:
Somebody made a mistake linking to the wrong video?
Someone is testing ways to hack Youtube counts?
Someone created a viral tweet "Click here for M Cyrus n*k*d pics"?

Very likely it is not an attack directed at you, you are just 'anyone' as far as the attackers are concerbned. You may feel singled out, but you were not. There could be more people affected.

I would not worry too much if it stays with these attempts. Well, you have to get your account unblocked of course, that's a nuisance.

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