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  • Jawed Karim

    Jawed Karim is a German-American Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of YouTube. He is the first person to upload a video to the site. This inaugural video titled Me at the zoo has been viewed over 65 million times as of April 2019. During Karim's time working at PayPal, where he met the fellow YouTube founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley, he designed many of the core components including its real-time anti-internet fraud system.

    Karim was born in Merseburg, East Germany in 1979 to a German mother and a Bangladeshi father. He crossed the inner German border with his family in the early 1980s, growing up in Neuss, West Germany. Karim moved with his family to Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1992. He graduated from Saint Paul Central High School and later attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Computer Science. He left campus prior to graduating to become an early employee at PayPal, but continued his coursework, earning his bachelor's degree in computer science. He subsequently earned a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University.

    After co-founding the company and developing the YouTube concept and website with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, Karim enrolled as a graduate student in computer science at Stanford University while acting as an adviser to YouTube. When the site was introduced in February 2005, Karim agreed not to be an employee and simply be an informal adviser, and that he was focusing on his studies. As a result, he took a much lower share in the company compared to Hurley and Chen. Because of his smaller role in the company, Karim was mostly unknown to the public as the third founder until YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006. Despite his lower share in the company, the purchase was still large enough that he received 137,443 shares of stock, worth about $64 million based on Google's closing stock price at the time.

    On 6 November 2013, YouTube began requiring that commenting on its videos be done via a Google+ account, a move that was widely opposed by the YouTube community. An online petition to revert the change garnered over 240,000 signatures.

    In response to Google requiring YouTube members to use Google+ for its comment system, Karim wrote on his YouTube account, "why the fuck do i need a Google+ account to comment on a video?", and updated the video description on his first video titled 'Me at the zoo' to: I can't comment here anymore, since i don't want a Google+ account.

    In response to pressure from the YouTube community, Google publicly apologized for forcing Google+ users to use their real names, which was one of the reasons the Google+ integration was unpopular with YouTube users. Google subsequently dropped its Google+ requirement across all products, beginning with YouTube. Google announced in October 2018 its intention to permanently shut down Google+ as it had failed to achieve "broad consumer or developer adoption".

    Karim has published articles on programming in Dr. Dobb's Journal, including one on loading rendering and animating Quake models.