google-charlie-chaplin-birthdaySaturday is Charlie Chaplin’s birthday! Blow out a candle with some piano accompaniment for the would be 122 year-old and watch Google’s ode to who I’m told is one of the best screen legends of all time.

The world’s largest video sharing site created a Google Doodle for the occasion that’s less of a drawing cleverly incorporating a person, theme, or idea into an iteration of Google’s wordmark, and more of a YouTube video. The two-minute short shows a destitute Charlie Chaplin impersonator engaging in 1920s hijinks in order to make friends and score a hot meal.

Classic Charlie Chaplin, right!? People all around the world, especially those super fans in Adipur, Gujarat, India and anyone going to must be watching this video, contributing to an astronomical view count in the hundreds of millions, right?! Definitely, but we’ll never know for sure.

The view counter is conspicuously absent from the Charlie Chaplin Google Doodle video. It’s something noted by hundreds of the video’s 4,676+ commenters, turning the case of the missing view counter into a big topic of conversation. Within that topic of conversation, the comments fall into three basic categories:

  1. Simple questions – ixonixas asks, “No views? WTF?”
  2. Workarounds – nemamprezime suggests, “thumps up its the only way to see how much it has views :)”
  3. Analysis – federicpistono wonders, “What’up Google, don’t want others to know how many people visit your front page and click on the doodle? :P”)

I think federicpistono’s right. Despite Google commanding 65% of the US search traffic, the company’s wary of revealing how many people use the service and interact with its doodles. We sent out an e-mail to YouTube reps asking for clarification. We’ll update this post as we hear back.

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