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Film and TV sectors fraught with online 'click farms’: report

2017-04-21 08:23:42 CNS

China's film and TV sectors are turning to click farms to inflate social media numbers and create the false impression of popularity, Chinese media reported.

Click farms are fraudulent operations where people are hired or computer programs are used to elevate online content through actions ranging from Weibo likes to retweeting comments and video views to make something appear more popular.

China Central Television said some providers of fake clicks charged 40 yuan ($5.8) for 10,000 views on the leading online video platform Iqiyi.com and 15 yuan for 10,000 views on another.

Viewership of the TV drama Ten Miles of Peach Blossom increased by 1.4 billion in a day, which means all of China's 760 million Internet users watched it twice a day, according to CCTV.

Beijing News said a click farm company based in Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province offered to help promote TV dramas on several platforms at 3 yuan for 10,000 views. The paper later paid 30 yuan to the company, which helped boost apparent views of a film made in 1958 from 8,922 to 113,000 in less than two hours.

Experts said fake likes have become an increasing problem due to the lack of legal supervision as production companies, actors and actresses gain financially.

On the second day after a TV drama was said to garner 30 billion views, one investor – a listed company – announced that its market value was enhanced from 250 million yuan in 2015 to 5 billion yuan.

Li Yang, a director, told Beijing News that data fraud is widespread in the movie and TV industry.

Cao Kefan, a TV program host and deputy to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, also urged to fight fraud at the box office, in online clicks and audience ratings.

Tencent's video platform said it is making efforts to stop fake clicks through technical measures and enhanced supervision.

Tang Xing, chief technology officer at Iqiyi.com, said the platform formed a special task force as early as 2014 to target click fraud.

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