YouTube has deleted more than 30 UK drill videos from its platform that police claim incite violence.
According to figures obtained by Press Association, Scotland Yard has asked the video-sharing site to remove between 50 and 60 music videos in the last two years. Of these, around 30 have been taken down.
A recent report in The Sunday Times attempted to link a series of violent crimes in London to gang rivalries supposedly catalysed by the “ultra violent new form of music sweeping Britain”.
“Drill music is associated with lyrics which are about glamourising serious violence: murder, stabbings,” the Met police commissioner, Cressida Dick, told LBC radio earlier this month. “They describe the stabbings in great detail, joy and excitement. 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.”
YouTube has released a statement about the move in which they said their decision was based on ongoing work with the government.
"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," the statement reads. "Along with others in the UK, we share the deep concern about this issue and do not want our platform used to incite violence."
Popular London drill crew 1011 are among the artists to have been removed from YouTube. Following the announcement, they’ve set up a petition calling for their work to be restored. The collective claim they are being unfairly targeted by police "with orders to stop their promotional use of YouTube".
This news comes in the midst of an ongoing debate surrounding the alleged links between grime and drill music to violent crime in London. As the debate has progressed, members of the Lonon music community have been invited to the house of commons to discuss the matter.
"There's a clear correlation between the success of black music and artists of colour, and the dogged determination of the media to paint young people and their potential role models negatively," said Harjeet Sahota, a member of the London Independent Youth Safety Advisory Board, as reported by RA. "It's patronising and damaging. When we look at the subject matter of our favourite genres—such as grime and drill—it's drug, sex and violence, which is not unique to these genres."
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