YouTube is an American free, international, video sharing and social networking website and app on the internet. The website lets people upload, view, and share videos. YouTube was founded on April 23, 2004 by three former members of PayPal.  Google (a search engine company) has owned and operated YouTube since 2006. YouTube now carries paid advertisements on all pages.
|Foundation date||April 23, 2004|
|Headquarters||901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, California, United States|
|Area served||Worldwide (except blocked countries)|
Video hosting service
(see list of localized domain names)
|Alexa rank||2 (Nov 2020[update])|
|Registration||Optional (not required to watch most videos; required for certain tasks such as uploading videos, viewing flagged videos, creating playlists and posting comments)|
|Launched||April 23, 2004|
YouTube's official logo is a white triangle pointing right in a rounded red box. People who commonly upload on YouTube are called YouTubers. YouTube awards people who reach milestones such as 100,000 subscribers with Play Buttons, a metal sheet with the YouTube logo and the channel name on it.
Videos can be rated with likes or dislikes (although the number of dislikes a video has cannot be seen by the public since a 2021 update), and viewers can subscribe to channels they like. Videos can be commented on if viewers log into their own accounts. The number of times a video has been watched, known as "views", are shown. YouTube has another app called YouTube Kids, aimed at children and with less functions, made to protect children.
YouTube needed the Adobe Flash Player plug-in to play videos in the past. However, in January 2010, YouTube started using the built-in features of web browsers (HTML5) they removed it early 2015 so people would not need to use Adobe Flash player to watch videos.
All YouTube users can upload 15-minute long videos. Users who have used the site for enough time and follow the rules can upload videos that are 12 hours long. A user needs to verify the account to do this, however. Everyone could upload long videos when YouTube started, but in March 2006 a ten-minute video limit was put in. The limit was changed to 15 minutes in July 2010. Most video formats can be uploaded to YouTube, and videos can also be uploaded from mobile phones.
YouTube is blocked in many schools because it allows children to search for videos that might distract them from their lessons. But at a higher level than schools (and in workplaces), some governments have blocked YouTube access to their country's public. Their reasons vary. Some countries have also banned it. These are listed below.
Turkey blocked YouTube on March 6, 2007 for letting videos that were mean or discriminating to Turks and Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, to be shown. Because of a "virtual war" between Greeks, Armenians, Kurds and Turks on YouTube, people from each side posted videos to hurt the other. The video that caused the banning said that Turks and Atatürk were gay. The video was first mentioned on Turkish CNN and the Istanbul public prosecutor sued YouTube for being mean to Turkishness. The court suspended access to YouTube while waiting for the removal of the video. The ban was criticized a lot. YouTube lawyers sent proof of removal to court and users could access the website again on March 9, 2007.
During the week of March 8 2007, YouTube was blocked in Thailand. Many bloggers (people who have a "diary" online) believed the reason YouTube was blocked was because of a video of the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's speech on CNN. However, the government did not confirm or give reasons for the ban. YouTube was unblocked on March 10.
On the night of April 3, YouTube was again blocked in Thailand. The government said it was because of a video on the site that it said was "insulting" to King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology claimed that it would unblock YouTube in a few days, after websites with references to this video are blocked instead of the entire website. Communications Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said, "When they decide to withdraw the clip, we will withdraw the ban." Soon after this incident the internet technology blog Mashable was banned from Thailand over the reporting of the YouTube clips in question.
Brazilian model lawsuit and banning that came after change
YouTube is being sued by Brazilian model and MTV VJ Daniela Cicarelli (better known as Ronaldo's ex-fiancée) because she says that the site is making available a video footage made by a paparazzi (or celebrity photographer) in which she and her boyfriend are having sex on a Spanish beach. The lawsuit says that YouTube has to be blocked in Brazil until all copies of the video are removed. On Saturday, January 6, 2007, a legal injunction (command) ordered that filters be put in place to prevent users in Brazil from going to the website.
The effectiveness of the measure has been questioned, since the video is not available only on YouTube, but rather has become an Internet phenomenon. On Tuesday, January 9, 2007, the same court overturned their earlier decision, ordering the filters to be taken down, even though the footage was still forbidden, but without technical support for its blockage.
On May 25, 2007 the state-owned company Maroc Telecom blocked all access to YouTube. There were no reasons given why YouTube was blocked. But the guesses are that it might have something to do with some pro-separatist group Polisario clips (Polisario is the Western Sahara independence movement) or because of some videos that criticized King Mohammed VI. This block did not concern the other two private internet-providers, Wana and Meditel. YouTube became accessible again on May 30, 2007 after Maroc Telecom unofficially announced that the denied access to the website was only a "technical glitch".
YouTube was blocked in Pakistan following a decision taken by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on 22 February 2008 because of the number of "non-Islamic objectionable videos."
In Australia, some schools, including all secondary schools in Victoria, have YouTube blocked from student access, after fights have been posted on YouTube.
Terms of service change
According the site's terms of service, users may upload videos only if they have the permission of the copyright holder and of the people in the video. Pornography, defamation, harassment, commercials, and videos that encourage criminal conduct may not be uploaded. The uploader gives YouTube permission to give out and change the uploaded video for any purpose, and they do not have permission anymore when the uploader deletes the video from the site. Users may view videos on the site but are not allowed to save them on their computers.
On June 19, 2007, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was in Paris to launch the new localization system. The interface of the website is available with localized versions in 104 countries, and a worldwide version.
Testing language change
The interface of the YouTube website is available in 76 language versions including Albanian, Amharic, Armenian, Burmese, Khmer, Kyrgyz, Laotian, Mongolian, Persian, and Uzbek, which do have local channel versions.
This section needs more information. (February 2021)
YouTube has been criticized for how poorly they manage user-generated content and because of how a number of their policies are considered unfair to content creators. YouTube has been criticized for not properly handling copyrighted content that is added in uploaded videos. The video recommendation algorithms used in YouTube persistently promote conspiracy theories and false information, as noted by some critics. There is also criticism that there are violent or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters in certain videos falsely claiming to be targeted to children. YouTube has also been criticized for attracting pedophilic comments in videos of minors performing activities.
Because YouTube keeps changing policies on the types of content that is eligible to be monetized with advertising, many content creators are concerned about these frequent changes. YouTube policies restrict certain forms of content from being included in videos being monetized with advertising. This includes videos containing violence, strong language, sexual content, "controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown" (unless the content is "usually newsworthy or comedic and the creator's intent is to inform or entertain"), and videos whose user comments contain "inappropriate" content. However, it is not clear what is the boundaries for what YouTube's policies specifically accept and do not accept. Some content creators also say that YouTube's policies also change too often. For example, on January 16, 2018, the requirement for a channel to be monetized is to get 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and at least 1,000 subscribers. Although YouTube's intent was to avoid monetizing videos of channels seen as controversial, people criticize that this move greatly harms smaller YouTube channels.
After testing earlier in 2021, YouTube removed public display of dislike counts on videos in November 2021, citing its internal research that found users often used the dislike feature as a form of cyberbullying and brigading. While some users praised the move as a way to discourage trolls, others felt that hiding dislikes would make it harder for viewers to recognise clickbait or unhelpful videos, and that other features already existed for creators to limit bullying. Some theorised the removal of dislikes was influenced by YouTube Rewind 2018, which was universally panned and became the most-disliked video on the platform. YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim referred to the update as "a stupid idea", and that the reason behind the change was "not a good one, and not one that will be publicly disclosed." Karim felt that the ability for users on a social platform to identity bad content was essential, saying, "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."
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Further reading change
- "The highest paid YouTubers". Bynext. August 23, 2020.
Other websites change
- YouTube mobile site
- YouTube Blog
- YouTube founders comment on the Google.com acquisition of YouTube