'Charlie Bit My Finger' Remains on YouTube, But Mysterious NFT Winner May Soon Remove It

One of YouTube's very first viral videos may soon be permanently removed from the video-sharing platform, after it was sold at auction to a mystery bidder as a piece of digital art.

Bearing the self-explanatory title "Charlie Bit My Finger," the 55-second clip, which dates back to May 2007, shows toddler Charlie, then aged one, amusing—and then upsetting—his 3-year-old brother Harry, as he chews his elder sibling's finger.

Announced as going up for auction earlier this month, the video was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT) on Sunday, with "3fmusic" outbidding "mememaster for ownership of a slice of internet history.

With the auction concluded, there is now the possibility that the video will soon be taken down, as it was stated in a since-deleted caption that it "will be removed" after the sale date.

The Aution details stated: "Bid to own the soon-to-be-deleted YouTube phenomenon, Charlie Bit My Finger, leaving you as the sole owner of this lovable piece of internet history (while also getting the chance to say Charlie bit your finger, if you want to see what all the hype is about)."

Recorded by Harry and Charlie's dad Howard Davies-Carr, the video was shared to YouTube because the U.K.-based technology company manager was unable to email it to their godparents in the U.S. at the time.

It led the charge in a rapidly changing digital landscape, before "going viral" even became an everyday term.

The latest stage in that evolution is the sale of NFTs, digital ownership certificates that give successful bidders the luxury of deciding how and where their pricey purchases are used.

Another internet phenomenon, the "Disaster Girl" meme—a snapshot of a young girl smiling deviously as a fire rages in the background—raked in a cool $473,000 when it was auctioned off as an NFT in April.

The sales are leading to expectations of a sweeping round of windfalls for those lucky enough hold ownership of imagery that has gone viral over the years.

For the everyday social media user, this could mean that the many ubiquitous videos and images cluttering the internet could start to disappear as they become a part of private collections.

While "Charlie Bit My Finger" may soon only live on in the memories of the millions who participated in the click-and-share revolution, the sale of the video could well lead to more content from the Davies-Carr siblings.

Harry and Charlie, now aged 17 and 15 respectively, have offered up their services to help create a future potentially viral video with the auction's winning bidder.

On their website charliebitme.com, where the video was sold, the family states that the new owner "will have the opportunity to create their own parody of the video featuring the original stars, Harry and Charlie.

"Star in it yourself, or give the honor to the biggest Charlie Bit My Finger fan you know, and recreate a hilarious modern-day rendition of the classic clip."

It has yet to be revealed what the family plans to do with proceeds from the sale. Newsweek has contacted Howard Davies-Carr for comment.

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The YouTube logo. The iconic viral video "Charlie Bit My Finger" was briefly removed from YouTube on its 14th anniversary after it sold at auction for $473,000 Gabe Ginsberg