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YouTube


Something of Interest

YouTube has featured an April Fools prank on the site on April 1 of every year since 2008:
  • 2008: All the links to the videos on the main page were redirected to Rick Astley's music video "Never Gonna Give You Up", a prank known as "Rickrolling".
  • 2009: When clicking on a video on the main page, the whole page turned upside down. YouTube claimed that this was a new layout.
  • 2010: YouTube temporarily released a "TEXTp" mode, which translated the colors in the videos to random upper case letters. YouTube claimed in a message that this was done in order to reduce bandwidth costs by $1 per second.
  • 2011: The site celebrated its "100th anniversary" with a "1911 button" and a range of sepia-toned silent, early 1900s-style films, including "Flugelhorn Feline", a parody of Keyboard Cat.
  • 2012: Clicking on the image of a DVD next to the site logo led to a video about "The YouTube Collection", an option to order every YouTube video for home delivery on DVD, videocassette, Laserdisc, or Betamax tapes. The spoof promotional video promised "It's the complete YouTube experience completely offline."
  • 2013: YouTube teamed up with newspaper satire company The Onion to claim that the video sharing website was launched as a contest which had finally come to an end, and would announce a winner of the contest when the site went back up in 2023. A video of two presenters announcing the nominees streamed live for twelve hours.
YouTube's headquarters as of 2010 in San Bruno, California.

YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005 and owned by Google since late 2006, on which users can upload, view and share videos. The company is based in San Bruno, California, and uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including video clips, TV clips, and music videos, and amateur content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, Hulu, and other organizations offer some of their material via YouTube, as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can watch videos, and registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old. YouTube, LLC was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion in November 2006 and now operates as a Google subsidiary.

YouTube says that roughly 60 hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, and that around three quarters of the material comes from outside the U.S. The site has 800 million unique users a month.

YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, but Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was probably very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story that was very digestible".

The first YouTube video was entitled Me at the zoo, and shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site.

The vast majority of videos on YouTube are free to view and supported by advertising. In May 2007, YouTube launched its Partner Program, a system based on AdSense which allows the uploader of the video to share the revenue produced by advertising on the site.

At the time of uploading a video, YouTube users are shown a message asking them not to violate copyright laws. Despite this advice, there are still many unauthorized clips of copyrighted material on YouTube. YouTube does not view videos before they are posted online, and it is left to copyright holders to issue a takedown notice pursuant to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Three successful complaints for copyright infringement against a user account will result in the account and all of its uploaded videos being deleted.

YouTube has also faced criticism over the offensive content in some of its videos. The uploading of videos containing defamation, pornography, and material encouraging criminal conduct is prohibited by YouTube's terms of service. Controversial content has included that pertaining to Holocaust denial and the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 football fans from Liverpool were crushed to death in 1989. YouTube relies on its users to flag the content of videos as inappropriate, and a YouTube employee will view a flagged video to determine whether it violates the site's terms of service.

Most videos enable users to leave comments, and these have attracted attention for the negative aspects of both their form (spelling mistakes) and content including obscenity and hatred.

In some countries, YouTube is completely blocked, either through a long term standing ban (China, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan) or for more limited periods of time such as during periods of unrest, the run-up to an election, or in response to upcoming political anniversaries. In other countries access to the website as a whole remains open, but access to specific videos is blocked. In cases where the entire site is banned due to one particular video, YouTube will often agree to remove or limit access to that video in order to restore service.

Source and more information:
Wikipedia article YouTube

Text is available under:
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License


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Last updated: January 2018
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