Let's talk about Youtube. The site was founded in February of 2005 by three former PayPal employees by the names of Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. The three were inspired to create a user-friendly and intuitive video file-sharing site when they were having difficulty sharing a video of a dinner party at Chen's apartment. The first video to ever be uploaded to the site was put up on April 23rd, 2005 at 8:27 PM under the name "Me at the zoo". It is 19 seconds long and features Karim talking about the elephant display at a local zoo. As of the writing of this text, it has over 8,700,000 views. In May 2005, Youtube opened up for public beta testing, and six months later in November 2005, Youtube officially launched.
From its first public beta to its official launch to now, Youtube has found itself hosting billions of videos, with hundreds of thousands being uploaded each day. It has grown into the single most popular video sharing site ever and is among the top 5 most popular websites on the entire internet. Most of the videos people watch on Youtube have showed up on the front page of the site with at least a couple hundred thousand views or more. Most of the videos you personally have watched probably had anywhere between 500 and 1000 views. Rarely does anyone find themselves lurking around in the darker, more obscure corners of Youtube, crawling with the videos that have less than a dozen views. But of course that place exists; not every video among those billions is going to get much attention. And I've always thought there's something special about being apart of a view-count that you can number on one hand. You watch a video with 5 views and you're among a select few that have ever witnessed whatever was filmed. Unfortunately, more often than not, it's something stupid and not worth watching, which accounts for the low views. Nowadays the site is very heavily moderated, and not even the most obscure video can pop up with nudity in it without being deleted immediately. But, how about we wind the clocks back 7 years?
On November 21st, 2005, not long after Youtube's official launch, a particular Youtube account was opened under the rather unspectacular name of "dennis100". 3 days later, on Thanksgiving, dennis100's first video was uploaded with the name "talking turkey!!". The video, recorded on a low quality camcorder, features a family sitting at a kitchen table picking apart a cooked turkey and eating it. It appears to be a recording of an average Thanksgiving meal, except all of the audio in the recording is replaced with a man loudly screaming in an attempt to appear as though the turkey is screaming in pain as the family eats it. Near the end of the recording the camera turns towards the small, prepubescent girl sitting at the table and zooms in on her face. The video fades to black shortly after the girl begins to cough violently and then appears to start gagging. Throughout the entire video a small pink watermark lingers in the corner reading "skippers-bin.com" The description of the video was merely "for skipper..." The video itself received less than 10 views and no comments. Despite its appearance in the video's watermark, no domain has ever been registered under the name "skippers-bin.com".
One day later, another video was uploaded to the account named "talking turky bEHIND THE SCENES." with the same poor spelling and grammatical mistakes. The video is shakily filmed with another cheap camcorder, shot from behind the one that filmed the first video, which is mounted on a tripod. In the video, you can see two Caucasian individuals standing behind the tripod mounted camera dressed in jeans and dirty plain white t-shirts. What is particularly strange, though, is that one is wearing a rubber gorilla mask and the other is wearing a plastic cartoonish Dracula mask. Both persons are watching the family eat the turkey and softly laughing to themselves. The video films the entire length of the first, with the man in the Dracula mask grabbing the tripod mounted camera and panning it over to the little girl. Just as the small girl begins to cough and gag, the cameraman lifts a bottle of soap into the shot. He then lunges the bottle at the father who falls over after the impact. While the rest of the family offers no reaction besides simultaneously gagging just like the girl, the three men behind the camera begin laughing hysterically before the video abruptly cuts to black for around 3 seconds and then ends. Just like the first video, and every video uploaded to the account, this one shares the same "skippers-bin.com" watermark and an identical description, as well as a similarly low view-count.
However, unlike the "talking turkey" video, this video received one comment from username "bogbox", reading "lol good times :-)". The bogbox account was created one day after dennis100 and it had uploaded a single video entitled "OPEN UP SKIPPER'S BIN!!!!" which is nothing more than 20 seconds of black text on a pink background displaying the same non-existent URL as shown in dennis100's two videos.
dennis100 did not upload any further videos until December 12th, at which point a new video with the title "everybodys a CRITIC!" was posted. In the video, a balding middle aged man in a stained wife-beater is seen hopping up and down rhythmically in a dimly lit garage. The camera is zoomed in very close to the man, and, despite the low visual quality, the viewer can see the man is very badly bruised on his face and has several scars across his forehead. The sound of glass shattering can be heard from below, and around a minute into the video, the camera zooms out, revealing the two men in the gorilla and Dracula masks from the previous video pulling glass bottles out of a crate sitting beside them and throwing them at the man's bare feet, causing him to "dance." Throughout this first minute and 30 seconds of the video, generic disco music is playing over the audio as you watch the man dance pathetically on shards of broken glass with blood smearing on the floor. Then the music abruptly cuts out and a third man walks into frame wearing a brown paper bag on his head with two makeshift eyeholes cut out and a smile haphazardly scribbled onto it with black marker. The paper bag man begins to scream into the ear of the dancing man, shouting expletives and insults at the man as well as harshly criticizing his dancing. Throughout the shouting, the dancing man begins to cry. The paper bag man then turns to the camera and shouts, "Can you believe this?!" and points his thumb at the dancing man, who does a sort of ballerina twirl and collapses onto the floor. Then the video fades to black. What is interesting about this particular video is that, being the first time any of the men talk, one can detect a very vague and indistinct Eastern European accent from the paper bag man. Seems like a lot of the weird stuff on the internet originates from that area, doesn't it?
Ten days later, on December 22nd, dennis100 uploaded a fourth video entitled, "having to much FUN!!" which is filmed from within a child's bedroom. The camera is set down on a dresser and is filming the Paper Bag Man jumping up and down on a bed. Off to the side, barely in frame, the Gorilla Man is ramming a crippled, teenaged boy in a wheelchair over and over again into the wall. The kid is crying while this happens and the Gorilla Man is laughing loudly and continuously gets rougher and more vicious each time he does it. While the Dracula Man does not appear in this video, off in another room you can vaguely hear the repetitive creaking off a bed as well as feminine screaming and sobbing. This goes on for around 2 minutes and 15 seconds before the creaking in the other room stops and a loud thud is heard. At this point both the Gorilla Man and the Paper Bag Man stop what they're doing and the Paper Bag Man yells out, "Are you done in there?" which is replied to with a muffled "Yeah!" The Paper Bag man then hops off of the bed, grabs the camera and the video ends as someone off camera mutters, "That was quick..."
The video received another comment from bogbox reading "best nite ever!!!!! thnk u skipper!"
Another month of inactivity went by before dennis100 uploaded his fifth and final video on January 14th, 2006. This one, titled "bad luck lewis...", shows a dazed man sitting a small plastic table, likely one meant for small children in the middle of what appears to be the corner of a much larger warehouse. Behind the camera he asked what his name is and he a mumbles a response in a tired tone, "Lewis." He is then asked a few more questions which, along with their answers, are incomprehensible and cannot be heard over the sound of the Dracula Man walking into frame with a tape recorder that is continuously playing a voice that repeats "7 years bad luck" over and over again. The interview between the cameraman and Lewis goes on under the loud recording that the Dracula Man is playing for around 5 minutes. During the entire length of the interview, Lewis appears to occasionally drift off to sleep. After the 5 minute mark the Gorilla Man quickly runs into frame and smashes a mirror over Lewis's head and he collapses immediately onto the table. The Dracula Man then grabs the shards broken off the mirror and begins frantically stabbing himself in the stomach with them and screaming "7 years bad luck!" while the Gorilla Man and Paper Bag Man laugh hysterically. The video then abruptly ends about 10 seconds later.
That was dennis100's last video. All of his 5 uploaded videos never got over 15 views. His account, along with bogbox's, have both since been deleted and the videos lost. The website skippers-bin.com neither then nor now has ever existed, and who Skipper is I don't know. I can't claim to be capable of leaving you with anymore knowledge about these videos then when you began reading. If you wanted to see them, I'm sure you could find download one of them deep in the bowels of some obscure file-sharing site that you shouldn't be downloading anything from to begin with. But I doubt you'll ever find them. If you'd like to know the point of this story is, there isn't really much of one. Just thought I'd inform you of what's been happening in the darker, more obscure corners of Youtube, crawling with the videos that have less than a dozen views.