The recent murders in Atlanta have focused attention on anti-Asian racism in the US. Now YouTube is embroiled in a controversy about a music video by artist YG that includes anti-Asian lyrics.
‘Meet the Flockers’ was released in 2014, with its burglary theme including advice to “Find a Chinese neighbourhood, cause they don’t believe in bank accounts”.
According to Variety, YouTube’s own staff protested at the video being available on the platform, leading to a ‘town hall’ meeting, and a decision not to remove the video. “We find this video to be highly offensive and understand it is painful for many to watch,” admitted a subsequent memo, before claiming that it qualifies for an ‘Educational, Documentary, Scientific or Artistic’ (EDSA) exemption to stay up.
“While EDSA is not a free pass for any content, there are likely thousands of music videos that would otherwise violate policies including Sex & Nudity, Violent or Graphic Content and Hate Speech were it not for these sorts of EDSA exceptions. As a result, removing this video would have far-reaching implications for other musical content containing similarly violent or offensive lyrics, in genres ranging from rap to rock.” According to Variety, this has not quelled the anger of staff who wanted the video removed.
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