The Italian blogger who uploaded what became the most watched YouTube video of all time says he decided to kill off his mega hit after he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from viewers on the Google-owned video sharing site.
The year-old video, which had been viewed over 100 million, was deleted from the YouTube servers last weekend by the Italian, who calls himself Clarus Bartel.
"I was fed up [with the abuse and accusations of statistical manipulation]," Bartel said in an email. "I am not interested in the first place if this is the price I have to pay."
The three minute clip was a home made video remix featuring the Brazilian band Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) and their song Music is My Hot Hot Sex .
According to the last published YouTube tally before it was deleted, the video had been watched 114, 281, 553 times since being uploaded last April.
Unusually, over 70 million of the views came this year in the month between February 17 and March 15, the day it was zapped.
On February 29, according to figures obtained from TubeMogul (see graph) , a video tracking site, Hot Hot Sex overtook Judson Laipply's Evolution Of Dance to become the most viewed YouTube video of all time.
Laipply's clip - which has now been viewed over 79 million times - had held the top spot for more than 18 months.
On March 7, YouTube removed the Hot Hot Sex video from the leaderboard pending an investigation into the unusual traffic spike.
"We don't condone efforts to affect the integrity of our video rankings or view counts," a YouTube spokesman told smh.com.au at the time. "We are looking into this matter and will take appropriate action when we resolve the investigation."
On or about March 16, Bartel's video reappeared at the top of YouTube's all time most watched video leaderboard (see screen grab) but disappeared again shortly after.
YouTube has not given any insights into its investigations nor explained why the video briefly reappeared on the leaderboard after it had been deleted from the server by its creator.
Bartel said even after he disabled comments on the Hot Hot Sex video, he continued to receive "obnoxious" comments from YouTube users on his other videos.
"I was forced to continuously delete comments," he said. "[Finally], the only solution was to remove the video."
In an earlier interview with Los Angeles-based blogger Andy Baio , Bartel denied fiddling the video's viewer statistics.
"I barely know how to turn a computer on and off," he said. "Never would I have imagined that such an ugly video, made on a whim, would make it to the top of the charts."