A couple of weeks ago, I posted (what I believed to be) a shiny-new Viral Video, Carol of the Sith Lord. It featured Darth Vader directing a flash mob singing “Carol of the Bells.” We here at the Flip had been waiting to find a viral video in its infancy, to track the progress, and animate the YouTube locational popularity tracker. Hooray for data visualization!
Best laid plans…
Not long after I posted the video, a gentleman called choirx corrected my post in the comments section. He had been involved in the production, and questioned the numbers that YouTube provided. At about that same time, I realized that the numbers hadn’t gone up. At all. For three days. So I did a little investigation.
Apparently, Google (who owns YouTube) places a hold on a video’s hit counter when it goes viral. They do this to maintain accuracy–the powers-that-be check to make sure that the hits coming in are valid, and not automated, preventing unsavory characters from upping their own counts.
While I applaud YouTube for their dedication to honesty, I do wish that I could have given you the data that I promised. Instead, look for part two (later today), where I’ll give you the “best of” the Flip’s Viral Videos of 2011.
By the by, Carol of the Sith Lord ended up with 478,000 views. In case you were curious.