Removal of PewDiePie’s latest music video has us asking what YouTube is doing

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For the last few months, Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg has been poking fun at a YouTube channel that makes music videos for kids.

The gag has mostly centred around mocking the channel – known as Cocomelon – through variations of its intro. These intros were created by Kjellberg’s fans and some made their way into video intros for the creator’s videos.

However, the gag took a turn on Valentine’s Day when Kjellberg released a music video called Coco in which he is singing a diss track aimed at Cocomelon and hop-hop artist 6ix9ine.

The trouble, however, is that the video featured children leading many to believe the music video was for kids. While we shouldn’t have to point this out, the track was not for kids and a censored version of the track was used while the children in the video were on set. For those concerned about the pandemic Kjellberg did state that COVID-19 safety measures were observed.

But if you go looking for Coco today you will find it’s gone and only audio versions of the track remain online.

This is because, according to YouTube, the video violated two of its policies.

“This video violated two policies: 1) Child safety: by looking like it was made for kids but containing inappropriate content. 2) Harassment: by inciting harassment @ other creators– we allow criticism but this crossed the line,” Team YouTube told a Twitter user who asked what was wrong with the song.

YouTube added that, “Any reuploads of the original, including full length or partial reuploads, clips, etc will be removed too. Still images are ok.”.

What is confusing about this entire affair is that between 14th February and 18th February (when the video was removed) Coco was a trending video. Hell, the only reason we know about the song is because it was trending at the time.

To take four days to decide a video violates a policy or policies is suspicious to say the least.

There’s also the matter of harassment.

If harassment was really the issue at hand here, surely removal of the song’s audio, which contains the lyrics would be a priority as well?

Beyond that, this raises an important question not only about diss tracks but content which could be interpreted as harassment however vague that interpretation is.

We say that because after multiple listens we’re not sure how Kjellberg dissing a faceless channel that makes really bad nursery rhymes counts as harassment.

The point about repeatedly encouraging abusive behaviour by an audience is also bizarre as looking at Cocomelon’s Facebook and Instagram pages, we couldn’t find a single comment mocking or attacking the channel. Sure there is a lot of spam but nothing that appears to be an attack from a fan of Kjellberg.

Many will now look to other diss tracks and question why they remain on the platform, that isn’t really the point here.

The problem is that you could do something like, diss a massive Indian corporation and it will be funny and embraced as a meme, but the next time you do that you could have your content removed.

But start a news organisation and fling misinformation for months and only after the election has been decided will YouTube take action.

As viewers this inconsistency is confusing but for creators it’s worrying because one day you could find yourself on the wrong end of a content removal.

As for Kjellberg, he’s disappointed in the video’s removal.

“Obviously the music video got removed by YouTube and I don’t know. If there is a place for me to address it, it’s not during a livestream but I also really want to play today. I’m just going to say I’m really disappointed, and I obviously disagree but I’m not going to address it further than that today,” Kjellberg said during a livestream.

The bare minimum YouTube creators and viewers should expect is consistency from the platform.

That, however, seems to be too much to ask.

[Via – Dexerto]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.