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According to Encyclopedia Dramatica’s account of the event, the idea was reportedly conceived on eBaum’s World’s /p3rn/ board sometime in May 2009 when a forum member asked “what happens if you upload pr0n to YouTube?” The thread was initially met by standard responses that the content would be removed from the site, but as the conversation continued, others too began pondering what would happen if clips of adult films were uploaded en mass through a pre-coordinated attack. While individual attempts at uploading inappropriate or adult-only content have been quite common since the launch of the site, mass-coordinated spam attacks against YouTube have been reported on two separate occasions in May 2009 and January 2010.
May 19th, 2009: Operation Porn Day
On the eve of May 19th, 2009, members of eBaumsworld as well as 4chan’s /b/ (random) board began spamming YouTube with adult film clips tagged under the code name “marblecake.” By early morning on the following day, screenshots were being shared on eBaumsworld and 4chan imageboards and by 9:30pm (ET), at least seven pages of porn videos tagged with “marblecake” had been successfully uploaded to YouTube.
As YouTube began filtering and removing videos associated with the tag, Anonymous users of 4chan’s /k/ (weapon) board responded by using alternate tags, including “swine flu,” “twilight” and “jonas brothers” among others. In addition, members of eBaumsworld began flagging compliant videos on YouTube in an attempt to stir confusion among YouTube administrators. The event was covered by tech news blogs like PC World, CNET and Maximum PC, as well as The Independent, BBC and The Guardian.
“I’m Twelve and What Is This?”
“I’m 12 Years Old and What is This?”, also known as “I’m 12 and what is this?”, is a catchphrase that stems from a comment posted on a YouTube clip of an adult film uploaded during Operation Porn Day on May 19th. On the following day, The BBC reported on the attack and quoted the YouTube comment in one of the videos seen at 0:37 during the on-air segment:
In one video titled Jonas Brother Live On Stage, a user posted a comment saying: “I’m 12 years old and what is this?”
January 6th: 2010: YouTube Porn Day
The second major wave of spam attacks against YouTube came months later on January 6th, 2010, evidently initiated by 4chan’s Anonymous in response to Google’s account suspension of YouTuber Lukeywes1234, an eight-year old-blogger who had gained internet fame for his awkward and oftentimes vulgar manner of speech. YouTube has a minimum age requirement of 13 and older for creating an account. Throughout the day of June 6th, hundreds of adult-only video clips were reportedly seen on YouTube, many of them disguised with thumbnails and tags of teen idol musicians as to avoid detection and increase their chance of exposure across the site.
IN PROTEST OF YOUTUBE’S DECISION TO SUSPEND THE ACCOUNT OF LUKEYWES1234, ALL MEMBERS OF ANONYMOUS ARE BEING KINDLY ASKED TO TAKE PART IN A VERY SPECIAL EVENT: YOUTUBE PORN DAY, JAN 6TH 2010
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