The first ever video uploaded to YouTube is “Me at the zoo” featuring the platform’s co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. It’s a bit of web history that basically every internet addict and Very Online person knows.
But, what if it wasn’t? What if there was an older video that went undiscovered for nearly 18 years?
Well, there isn’t. “Me at the zoo” is still the oldest video on YouTube. But, one prankster discovered a YouTube glitch that had everyone believing for a day that the entire history of video on the internet was wrong all along.
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It all started on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 when a video titled “Welcome to YouTube!!!” started to make the rounds on social media. The video was the sole upload on a channel called “enn.” The clip consisted of a still image of the old YouTube logo on a blue background. The overlaid text on the video read: “By: Chad, Steve, and Jawed,” references to the YouTube co-founders. “Welcome to YouTube!!!!” read another text box in the video as “Jump” by Van Halen played in the background. The clip clearly had a mid-2000s Windows Movie Maker-like aesthetic.
The upload date for “Welcome to YouTube!!!” was listed as April 6, 2005. If accurate, this video would have pre-dated “Me at the zoo” which was uploaded on April 23.
Aside from the fact that this video would have gone unnoticed for more than 17 years, some viewers started to notice some inconsistencies.
When clicking the video for more information, the upload date showed up as “Premiered.” In addition, there was a disabled premiere video live chat visible on the right hand side of the video. This meant that the video was released as a “YouTube premiere,” a feature on the platform that allows a pre-recorded video debut as a livestream so viewers can watch and react together in real-time. YouTube did not launch this feature until June 2018. Livestreaming wasn’t even possible on YouTube until 2011.
In addition, there were other oddities that poked holes in the claim that this was actually the first YouTube video. When clicking the channel’s about page, viewers noticed the join date for the user was listed as Sept. 4, 2005, months after the video was alleged to have been published. Also, the video had a resolution size of up to 480p, which YouTube did not introduce until 2008.
Lastly, some savvy viewers decided to right-click the YouTube video watch page and view the source code. According to the metadata listed, the video was in fact uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 23, 2023.
YouTube confirms glitch
With these revelations, it became clear and conclusive that there was not some newly uncovered piece of internet history. This was a user who was exploiting a glitch that allowed them to set a YouTube premiere date in the past which would then make it appear that the video was uploaded then.
“We’re aware of an issue that allowed the upload date of this video to be changed, and are working on a fix,” said a YouTube spokesperson when Mashable reached out. “Rest assured, the oldest video on YouTube will always be “Me at the Zoo” which was uploaded on April 23, 2005 by one of our co-founders and helped kickstart more than 17 years of creativity on YouTube.”
As of Friday, the “Welcome to YouTube!!!” video’s upload date has indeed been corrected. It now shows as having premiered on Jan. 25, 2023.
Since then, the enn channel has uploaded additional videos trolling viewers including one titled “premiere bug 01.” The upload date listed on that new video is listed as having first been published 53 years ago.
Credit: Mashable Screenshot
Source : YouTube glitch used to trick users into believing there was an undiscovered oldest video