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YouTube deletes U.K. drill videos following police complaints

Up to 30 music videos have been taken down by the company.

May 29, 2018

YouTube has deleted 30 music videos by U.K. rap artists following complaints by the Metropolitan police. The offending videos were alleged to incite violence, The Guardian reports.

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The Met has clamped down on British artists making drill music, a London-centric strain of the Chicago-born genre, in retaliation to the rise in gang-related violence across the city.

“The gangs try to outrival each other with the filming and content – what looks like a music video can actually contain explicit language with gangs threatening each other,” Mike West from Metropolitan Police told the BBC. “There are gestures of violence, with hand signals suggesting they are firing weapons and graphic descriptions of what they would do to each other.”

Figures obtained by the Press Assosciation show that YouTube has removed 30 from a list of 60 videos Scotland Yard has requested be taken down.

A YouTube spokesman told The Guardian: “We have developed policies specifically to help tackle videos related to knife crime in the UK and are continuing to work constructively with experts on this issue.

“We work with the Metropolitan police, the mayor’s office for policing and crime, the Home Office and community groups to understand this issue and ensure we are able to take action on gang-related content that infringe our community guidelines or break the law.

“We have a dedicated process for the police to flag videos directly to our teams because we often need specialist context from law enforcement to identify real-life threats. Along with others in the UK, we share the deep concern about this issue and do not want our platform used to incite violence.”

The force say it has established a database of more than 1,400 videos to use as an intelligence tool in an attempt to reduce violent crime.

1011, a drill crew from London, has set up a petition calling on the police to stop targeting them and removing their music from YouTube. It currently has over 5,000 signatures.

Posted: May 29, 2018