Whether or not it desires to be or not, YouTube is a guardian of web historical past, with numerous basic movies sitting in its archives. That makes it jarring when the corporate acts like what it’s: a multinational company with no actual understanding of this worth. Working example, this week YouTube eliminated the unique add of the “Ah fuck, I can’t believe you’ve done this” meme, rejecting an attraction from its creator (and the man who can’t consider this was completed) and claiming that the clip violates the corporate’s “violent or graphic content material coverage.”
Within the phrases of Paul Weedon himself, star of and uploader of the unique video: Ah, fuck.
Weedon tweeted out the information of the takedown and his unsuccessful attraction, noting that the video had been on YouTube for 14 years, and racked up 12 million views in that point with “no points in any respect.” The clip itself is a basic: low-res, contextless, and immediately humorous. And, in fact, countless re-uploads nonetheless exist (alongside the opposite, legitimately horrible content material that YouTube is pleased to go away up).
“It fully out of the blue,” Weedon advised The Verge concerning the takedown. “I made the case that it’s been on-line happening 15 years and is principally a part of web tradition.”
The video has been remixed and re-memed in numerous methods because it first went viral within the mid-2010s, and Weedon himself has an attention-grabbing relationship with the content material. In an article for Vice printed earlier this yr, he describes how the clip was a part of a sequence of “stunts” he and his associates filmed within the vein of Jackass, and the way he offered the unique rights for the video to the now-defunct Break.com and isn’t now certain who even owns the IP.
“On the time, going viral wasn’t actually similar to another expertise and it definitely wasn’t one thing I might talk about in solidarity with my associates,” writes Weedon. “Abruptly you’re in every single place and it’s out of your management. You both attempt to battle it and get destroyed, or embrace it and attempt to money in. After yanking down a number of different movies on my YouTube channel, I opted for the latter.”
So as to add insult to harm, Weedon is at the moment exploring the potential of making a documentary concerning the meme, so this takedown provides somewhat twist to the proceedings. “This takes issues in a totally completely different path,” he tells The Verge. “It says quite a bit about the place YouTube goes. On Twitter, folks appear to be saying the identical factor: that it is a video that represents what YouTube was, they usually’ve torched it.”
Weedon says he’s discovered all of the footage from the day the meme was shot, and that he and a gaggle of associates are nonetheless exploring the right way to inform the story. “We’re nonetheless determining what we wish to do with it,” he says. “Although I positively remorse promising the documentary can be coming ‘quickly’ within the teaser. I forgot how impatient folks on the web could be.”
We’ve reached out to YouTube for remark and can replace this story if we hear again.
Replace, Wednesday September twenty ninth, 6:13AM ET: Up to date the story with remark from Weedon.