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Tracking fake downloads is *not* a solved problem.

Posted by dumbmatter on 08 Dec 2009 at 18:32 GMT

"A common objection is that these statistics can be artificially inflated by faking or automating downloads, but this problem has been largely solved by the online advertising industry, which relies on trusted page view and download metrics provided by third parties. These statistics may not be completely accurate but they are consistent, comparable, and considered sufficiently immune to cheating to be the basis for a billion dollar Web advertising industry."

As probably one of the few people reading this article who has experience in the online ad industry, I strongly disagree with this assertion. Fake hits are a huge problem. Just look up "adsense click fraud" and see the problems Google is having, and they are the best in the industry. Furthermore, advertising companies have a huge economic incentive to filter out the fake clicks. Scientific journals would have none.

No competing interests declared.