Instagram reverses UK drill rap video ban despite Met Police warning it could spark violence

Instagram reverses UK drill rap music video ban despite Met Police warning it could spark violence after Meta decides video poses no ‘credible threat’

  • Instagram reverses ban on drill music video despite Met Police violence warning
  • Meta’s Oversight board overruled decision saying drill music not ‘credible threat’
  • ‘Secrets Not Safe’ by Chinx video showing men rapping about violence allowed

Instagram has reversed its ban on a UK drill music video despite warnings from the Met Police it could spark violent retribution among London gangs.

Meta‘s Oversight Board yesterday overruled the initial decision claiming the removal was a mistake as there was no ‘credible threat’.

It suggested the social media giant should be more careful when dealing with requests over fears it could ‘amplify bias’ within the force.

Instagram took down 164 posts featuring the offending video ‘Secrets Not Safe’ by Chinx shortly after it was uploaded in January following a request from Scotland Yard.

The 21-second clip shows a group of hooded men wearing balaclavas rapping in slang about stabbings, shootings, and calling out rival artists.

Instagram took down 164 posts featuring the offending video 'Secrets Not Safe' by Chinx (grab from music video pictured) shortly after it was uploaded in January following a request from Scotland Yard

Instagram took down 164 posts featuring the offending video ‘Secrets Not Safe’ by Chinx (grab from music video pictured) shortly after it was uploaded in January following a request from Scotland Yard

The clip shows a group of hooded men wearing balaclavas rapping in slang about stabbings, shootings, and calling out rival artists

The clip shows a group of hooded men wearing balaclavas rapping in slang about stabbings, shootings, and calling out rival artists

The force told Meta it contained a ‘veiled threat’ that referenced a 2017 shooting and keeping it up risked ‘retaliatory gang violence’.

The removal was referred to Meta’s Oversight Board, which overlooks content moderation decisions across its platforms and has the power to override any decisions.

The body found ‘sufficient evidence’ that there was a credible threat – and as such more weight should have been given to the content’s ‘artistic nature’.

Concerns were also raised over how easily Meta was conceding to the demands of law enforcement, particularly when it involved ‘minority or marginalised groups’.

It highlighted how all of the Met’s requests to social media and streaming platforms over the past year involved drill music, which is particularly popular among young black British people.

The removal was referred to Meta's Oversight Board, which overlooks content moderation decisions across its platforms and has the power to override any decisions (file photo of Instagram)

The removal was referred to Meta’s Oversight Board, which overlooks content moderation decisions across its platforms and has the power to override any decisions (file photo of Instagram)

Freedom of Information requests by the Board also revealed how social media companies agreed to 90 per cent of the 286 requests by the Met Police to remove music content

The Board said: ‘While law enforcement can sometimes provide context and expertise, not every piece of content that law enforcement would prefer to have taken down should be taken down.

‘It is therefore critical that Meta evaluates these requests independently, particularly when they relate to artistic expression from individuals in minority or marginalised groups for whom the risk of cultural bias against their content is acute.’

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