YouTube’s fake views economy
Views are the currency of YouTube. More views often translates into a higher ranking in user search results, or better circulation numbers in the sidebar, both of which affect the amount of money YouTubers make via ad impressions. What’s more, they’re the measure by which the outside world assigns worth, a credential that makes them more visible to vulnerable populations with malleable views.
A high view count carries with it an air of legitimacy — approval from both YouTube and its users alike. It’s what users are supposed to strive for.