Going to the Zoo
15 years ago, the first YouTube video was uploaded, Me at the zoo. At this point, it has become somewhat of an internet legend. In reality, the video is a nothing burger. In contrast to the bloated over-budget videos they produce now, this can seem much more humble and wholesome. However, not everyone finds this historic video charming. Some have criticized the video for it’s content. They feel resentful that such an important video is just a botched dick joke. This video reeks of its time, no one could imagine a company today having their landmark video being so unclothe. For many, is just foreshadowing to the boys club that YouTube would eventually become.
YouTube Has a Sexism Problem
Looking at a list of the top YouTube channels, some real equities shine through. The list is almost entirely topped by white men, and big businesses. However this is not just random chance, like many trends on YouTube, it is the result of the algorithm. The YouTube algorithm has been shown to suggest male creators more than female creators, and that has resulted in the skewed leader-boards. Despite having a female CEO, Susan Wojcicki, YouTube has a gender-gap. This is where Me at the zoo comes in, it is emblematic of the YouTube creator culture. A culture built on edgy shock content, patriarchal power dynamics, and dick jokes. The phallic funnies being a distillation of the former. Until YouTube updates this outdated video, it will be hard for them to rid their community of toxic masculinity.