Video platform YouTube has pulled dozens of music videos after the Metropolitan police raised concerns about the possibility that they are inciting violence.
The Guardian reports that the Met had linked a type of hip-hop known as drill to a rise in gang stabbings across London. YouTube has now pulled 30 videos from its service after the MET identified between 50 and 60 videos that were of concern.
Wikipedia describes drill as being “defined by its dark, grim, violent, nihilistic lyrical content and ominous trap-influenced beats” and describes its lyrics as “violent and very gritty”. It is often pitched as a counterpoint to the big-money, big-bling world of modern hip-hop that drill fans believe has betrayed the genre’s roots.
Black & Decker
“Drill music is associated with lyrics which are about glamourising serious violence: murder, stabbings,” Met police commissioner Cressida Dick said. “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.”
A YouTube spokesperson added that the platform has developed policies specifically designed to issues relating to UK knife crime and that it is “continuing to work constructively with experts on this issue”.
The spokesperson added: “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.”