Fans Accuse Atlantic Records of Bot Engagement on Lil Uzi Vert, Don Toliver and Other Rappers’ Videos
UPDATE (Nov. 26):
In a statement to XXL, Atlantic Records vehemently deny they used bots for any artist on their roster. "Atlantic Records has never used bots for any of our artists," it reads.
ORIGINAL STORY (Nov. 26):
Many rappers have personal cheat codes that give them that extra oomph when it comes to their music and fandom, but some fans are now accusing a record label of cheating its way to success by using bots. Atlantic Records is accused by fans of using bots to help boost engagement in Lil Uzi Vert, Roddy Ricch, Don Toliver and other rappers' music videos.
On Saturday (Nov. 26), DJ Akademiks jumped on his Twitter account and criticized Atlantic Records for allegedly manipulating views on their artists' videos. His response comes after several days of tweets from fans earlier this week that accused Atlantic of allegedly using bots for Don Toliver's music video for "Do It Right."
"Don Toliver out here paying views on YouTube….," tweeted one person on Nov. 23.
"They saying don toliver bought views on his recent music video," another fan wrote on Nov. 24.
Another commenter tweeted the same day: "Don Toliver Really Botting Views [man face palming emoji] [tears of joy emoji]."
"Don toliver just got exposed for botting views and comments on his new song lol," wrote another fan.
This prompted Ak to chime in with his criticism: "Damn.. Atlantic Records went from being hella lit a few years ago to being shit," he wrote. "They literally threw in the towell on marketing and promotin their artists..they just buying WILD amounts of fake views...which makin their artists look even worse."
More fans jumped in and claimed that bots are engaging in the comment section of Don Toliver's video for "Do It Right."
"Don toliver cooking views? [sob emojis] why he's my favorite jackboy [weary emoji]," a fan commented.
"Go to Don Toliver's most recent music video; sort comments by new, and keep scrolling. Let me know how many real comments you find," another person tweeted.
Another fan also alleged that Lil Uzi Vert is dealing with the same issue with his music video for "Just Wanna Rock," but that it's because he's trending at No. 1 on streaming platforms.
"Uzi's video is facing a similar issue; partially because he is trending #1 but we know Uzi's song is a hit," the fan wrote. "It has 60M streams on Spotify and being talked about everywhere. Don Toliver on the other hand.... that is not the case."
XXL has reached out to Atlantic Records for comment.
To be fair, bots are just part of the digital ecosystem. According to TechTarget, bots are a computer program that operate as an agent for a user or other program to simulate a human activity. There are a variety of bots and they are everywhere—on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms.
Bots are a little different on YouTube, so it's unclear how they are getting engagement on the platform either through paying people or through artists' management that are separate from the record label. Overall, bots are here to stay and they are not leaving anytime soon.
Fans have been offering their opinions about the usage of bots to promote artists.
"Atlantic Records getting cooked for spamming their artists like Lil UziVert and Roddy Rich new videos with bots in the comments to up the engagement. Ppl really surprised?!? They do the same thing w streams to drive up the numbers. Labels been corrupt from since their creation," opined one person.
"They beeeeen doing that, have u ever seen a youtube comment section on music videos??? lmao even underground artist are buying bots for views," tweeted another fan.
Hopefully, record labels and managers will go back to relying on real authentic engagement and not rely on analytics and computers to promote their artists' music.