YouTube Says View Counter Stopped on Drudge-Linked Biden Video to Prevent ‘Artificial Inflation” of Count; Says It Will Update Later

By Matt Cover | March 23, 2011 | 12:21 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden ( Starr).

( - YouTube says the view counter on a video clip that is linked to the highly popular Drudge Report has stopped--at the implausibly low number of 301--because YouTube is following its standard procedure for preventing "artificial inflation” of the video’s viewcount and ensuring that all viewers that are counted are actual people and not computer programs.

The Drudge-linked video is a clip of then-Sen. Joe Biden appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball” and telling host Chris Matthews that he stands by his assertion that it would have been an impeachable offense for then-President George W. Bush to attack Iran without prior congressional authorization. Biden states in the clip that were Bush to attack Iran without congressional authorization he would “lead an effort to impeach him.”

The Drudge Report, which has millions of readers, had a link to the video at the very top of its page for awhile this morning. Later, the link to the clip was moved down to a spot in the Report’s left hand column. Nonetheless, the view counter on the YouTube page hosting the video was frozen implausibly at 301 hits.

When asked YouTube about the frozen viewcount for this Drudge-linked video, YouTube answered by pointing to a statement on its website.

“YouTube employs proprietary technology to prevent the artificial inflation of a video’s viewcount by spam bots, malware and other means,” said the statement. “We validate views to ensure the accuracy of the viewcount of all videos beginning with the first view. This validation process becomes publicly visible when the viewcount reaches 300.”

“At this point, the viewcount may slow or temporarily freeze until we have time to verify that all further views are legitimate,” said the statement. “Rest assured that the views system is working as intended, and that the viewcount will update as soon as the system has verified the legitimacy of the views.”