YouTube cracks down on violent drill music videos

Met police commissioner says the clips feature lyrics that glamorise murder and stabbings

(Image credit: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

YouTube is cracking down on violent music videos posted on its website after the Metropolitan Police complained that the lyrics were inciting aggressive behaviour.

The Google-owned video streaming service has so far taken down 30 videos that were flagged by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick for “fuelling a surge in murders and violent crime in London”, BBC News reports.

Videos of drill artists – a genre of rap music that often features lyrics that “detail vivid accounts of taking drugs and violence” – have been the main target in YouTube and the Met’s crackdown, the BBC adds.

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Earlier this month, Dick told LBC radio: “These [drill music videos] are associated with lyrics which are about glamorising serious violence: murder, stabbings. They describe the stabbings in great detail, with great joy and excitement.”

She added: “In those videos, they [the gangs who make the videos] taunt each other and say what they’re going to do to each other and specifically what they are going to do to who.”

The violent videos have been an issue for the Met for some time.

Over the past two years, the force has asked YouTube to take down between 50 and 60 videos. But Sky News says the police have to prove they incite violence for the requests to be successful.

Of the videos that were flagged, 30 were found to be in violation of the website’s policies. They were therefore deleted from the platform, the news site says.

The Met has also amassed a database of more than 1,400 videos as an “intelligence tool” to help crack down on violent crime, says Metro. The database has already helped launch more than 60 murder investigations this year.

Responding to the crackdown, drill music promoter Pressplay said the Met had “forced” YouTube to delete some of its videos from the website.

But the promoter said the clips would “probably be back up in the next few weeks”.

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