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YouTube Co-Founder Uses The First Ever Video Uploaded To The Platform As He Protests Against The Removal Of Public Dislike Counters

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim recently took to the platform in order to express his displeasure with regards to the public dislike counter’s removal, in a very interesting and unique manner, as first spotted by a Reddit thread.

Me at the zoo” is a video title that probably won’t ring many bells in our current generation of netizens since, well, it’s been almost two decades since the video was uploaded. As for the individuals who do recognize the title, I’ll allow for a moment of silence as we contemplate old age and the relentless march of time and entropy that we have surrendered our lives to. Existential contemplation over? Good! Let’s get back to the topic at hand.

Yes, “Me at the zoo” is the first ever video uploaded to YouTube! This short 18 second video, uploaded on the 24th of April, 2005, sits at over 202 million views, is the first paving stone on the incredible path that the video streaming social media platform has seen. Imagine the start of a multi-billion-dollar empire that is responsible for the career and livelihood of literal millions coming from a near-unorthodox trip to the zoo. It really is baffling, and even endearing in its own way. To imagine that even the humblest of beginnings can lead to such massive and unprecedented success.

The video was uploaded by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, who even stars in the video as he describes his tour to said zoo. It’s the only upload that can be found on his channel. Then again, clearly one is all the man needed. While Karim’s career at YouTube was always a bit hands-off, with the man also having the least shares in the company amongst fellow co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, this isn’t the first time he’s been vocal against changes to the status quo made by Google since its acquisition of the platform back in 2006.


Jawed Karim changed the description of his zoo video to reflect his displeasure at public dislike counts being removed, stating that “when every YouTuber agrees that removing dislikes is a stupid idea, it probably is.” This usage of the description box harkens back to a similar method of criticism he used in 2013 against Google+ integration in commenting and other features. The current removal of dislike counts, even as YouTube claims they’re a move made to protect creators from harassment, has been met with overwhelming disdain from the community. Which makes sense, a major aspect of self-expression for the community has been shelved, and it’s not like YouTubers are still safe from harassment. Dislike numbers still show up to them, albeit privately, and harassment can still run rampant.

It is, however, endearing that even years after his departure from the company, one of YouTube’s co-founders is very much invested in the changes happening with what he poured his heart and effort into.

Read next: YouTube is secretly paying TikTok influencers and other top content creators up to $50,000 to post YouTube shorts

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