If you spend a lot of time on YouTube, chances are you may have seen on many recent videos that the view counts have mysteriously frozen at exactly 301.
Ted Hamilton, a product manager for YouTube analytics says “We get asked about it all the time,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it causes angst, but I would certainly classify it as an annoyance.”
After a video reaches a certain number of views, YouTube tells the database to freeze the view count until YouTube can manually verify the correct count to protect against robot attempts. By looking at reports from these individual servers, YouTube engineers can detect suspicious patterns in the data.
A decision was made that they needed to draw the line between what is innocuous and what the database can handle, the proportion was calculated to be at about 300, however the code tells the database to keep counting views up to and including the time when the count is equal to 300, allowing one final view to get counted before it freezes.