YouTube removed 30 music videos that were deemed excessively violent, after a takedown request from the UK’s most senior police officer. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick asked YouTube to take down the contentious clips, stating that the videos glamorize violence and are contributing to a crime spree in London. Dick singled out the drill genre specifically.
A YouTube spokesman told the BBC, “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. Along with others in the UK, we share the deep concern about this issue and do not want our platform used to incite violence.” Scotland Yard have asked YouTube to take down between 50 and 60 music videos over the past two years. There isn’t any confirmation on the number of videos that were pulled.
Earlier this month, Dick was interviewed by LBC radio and claimed drill music and its violent lyrics are behind a crime wave of gang violence in the capital. “Drill music is associated with lyrics which are about glamorizing series violence — murder, stabbings. They describe the stabbings in great detail, joy and excitement,” she said. “Extreme violence against women is often talked about. Most particularly, in London we have gangs who make drill videos and in those videos, they taunt each other. They say what they’re going to do to each other and specifically what they are going to do to who.”
A group of drill artists dubbed 1011 have launched an online petition to try to fight YouTube from banning the videos.