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Oldest Video On YouTube Changes Its Description In Response To Removing Dislikes

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Oldest Video On YouTube Changes Its Description In Response To Removing Dislikes

The oldest video on YouTube has had its description changed in response to the site removing uploads' dislike count, saying 'nothing can be great if nothing is bad'.

The first-ever video uploaded to YouTube was an 18-second clip titled 'Me at the zoo', which was posted by the site's co-founder Jawed Karim on 23 April 2005 - a year-and-a-half before Google bought the platform for $1.65 billion.

Shot at San Diego Zoo in California, the video - which remains the only upload on Karim's channel - has racked up a total of 204 million views.

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But after 16 years, the post's description has recently been changed - now reading as a lengthy rant about YouTube changing its dislike function earlier this month in a bid to 'protect' users from harassment.

The description now says: "Watching Matt Koval's announcement about the removal of dislikes, I thought something was off. The spoken words did not match the eyes. The video reminded me of an interview Admiral Jeremiah Denton gave in 1966. I have never seen a less enthusiastic, more reluctant announcement of something that is supposed to be great.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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"Calling the removal of dislikes a good thing for creators cannot be done without conflict by someone holding the title of 'YouTube's Creator Liaison'. We know this because there exists not a single YouTube Creator who thinks removing dislikes is a good idea - for YouTube or for Creators.

"Why would YouTube make this universally disliked change? There is a reason, but it's not a good one, and not one that will be publicly disclosed. Instead, there will be references to various studies. Studies that apparently contradict the common sense of every YouTuber.

Credit: YouTube/Jawed Karim
Credit: YouTube/Jawed Karim

"The ability to easily and quickly identify bad content is an essential feature of a user-generated content platform. Why? Because not all user-generated content is good. It can't be. In fact, most of it is not good. And that's OK. The idea was never that all content is good. The idea WAS, however, that among the flood of content, there are great creations waiting to be exposed. And for that to happen, the stuff that's not great has to fall by the side as quickly as possible.

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"The process works, and there's a name for it: the wisdom of the crowds. The process breaks when the platform interferes with it. Then, the platform invariably declines. Does YouTube want to become a place where everything is mediocre? Because nothing can be great if nothing is bad.

"In business, there's only one thing more important than 'Make it better'. And that's 'Don't f*** it up'."

In a statement announcing the change, YouTube said the dislike button would remain, but that the count would become 'private across YouTube'.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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It said: "To ensure that YouTube promotes respectful interactions between viewers and creators, we introduced several features and policies to improve their experience.

"And earlier this year, we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks - where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator's videos.

"As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video's dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.

"We also heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started that they are unfairly targeted by this behavior - and our experiment confirmed that this does occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels."

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LADbible has reached out to YouTube for comment.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Jawed Karim

Topics: World News, News, YouTube

Jess Hardiman
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