After facing a week of backlash over perceived anti-Asian lyrics from some employees, YouTube removed YG’s 2014 song “Meet The Flockers” from its platform, only to re-upload the song with one word censored. The YouTube employees who objected to the song’s lyrics did so via a letter to the company’s Trust and Safety team. However, according to Bloomberg, the request was denied in an email:
“We find this video to be highly offensive and understand it is painful for many to watch, including many in Trust & Safety and especially given the ongoing violence against the Asian community. While we debated this decision at length amongst our policy experts, we made the difficult decision to leave the video up to enforce our policy consistently and avoid setting a precedent that may lead to us having to remove a lot of other music on YouTube.”
It appears that a compromise was reached. The video was taken down and replaced with a new one censoring the lyric, “First, you find a house and scope it out / Find a Chinese neighborhood, cause they don’t believe in bank accounts.” The word “Chinese” was muted. The remainder of the lyrics, which play as instructions for burglary, remain unchanged.
Meanwhile, a recent rise in anti-Asian attacks has been linked by many to a corresponding increase in derogatory language toward Asian people in general and Chinese people specifically as a result of misplaced anger and confusion over the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
You can hear the updated version of the song above.