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. Living proof, 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 imagine this was finished) and claiming that the clip violates the corporate’s “violent or graphic content policy.”

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 issues whatsoever.” 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 completely satisfied to depart up).

“It completely out of the blue,” Weedon advised The Verge concerning the takedown. “I made the case that it’s been online going on 15 years and is basically part of internet culture.”

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 fascinating relationship with the content material. In an article for Vice revealed earlier this 12 months, he describes how the clip was a part of a collection of “stunts” he and his buddies 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.

“At the time, going viral wasn’t really comparable to any other experience and it certainly wasn’t something I could discuss in solidarity with my friends,” writes Weedon. “All of a sudden you’re everywhere and it’s out of your control. You either try to fight it and get destroyed, or embrace it and try to cash in. After yanking down several other videos on my YouTube channel, I opted for the latter.”

So as to add insult to damage, 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 things in a completely different direction,” he tells The Verge. “It says a lot about where YouTube is going. On Twitter, people seem to be saying the same thing: that this is a video that represents what YouTube used to be, and they’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 buddies are nonetheless exploring inform the story. “We’re still figuring out what we want to do with it,” he says. “Though I definitely regret promising the documentary would be coming ‘soon’ in the teaser. I forgot how impatient people on the internet can 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.


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