Youtube video pro­motes hate and should be dumped, with apolo­gies

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - Chang Jun Con­tact the writer at junechang@chi­nadai­lyusa. com.

Asafe and healthy so­ci­ety can only be achie ved through the joint ef­forts of con­cerned ci­ti­zens and so­cial me­dia. Free­dom of speech, with­out the pro­tec­tion of laws and reg­u­la­tions, is an il­lu­sion.

Al­though all me­dia com­pa­nies pledge that they pro­hibit and will com­bat pro­mo­tion of con­tent that pro­motes vi­o­lence or ha­tred against in­di­vid­u­als or groups based on at­tributes like race or re­li­gion, their “no­tice-and-take­down” ap­proach doesn’t seem al­ways work.

What is hate speech? Ad­vo­cacy against an in­di­vid­ual, or­ga­ni­za­tion or pro­tected group based on race, eth­nic­ity, na­tional ori­gin, color, re­li­gion, dis­abil­ity, age, sex, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­tity, vet­eran sta­tus or other pro­tected sta­tus and vi­o­lence or threats of vi­o­lence against peo­ple or an­i­mals.

Don’t as­sume hate speech is ir­rel­e­vant to you. It can take place any­where, any­time in the dis­guise of any­thing, in­clud­ing a so-called artis­tic cre­ation or sim­ply a song.

Here’s a vivid ex­am­ple of what hate con­tent can look like.

Meet the Flock­ers, a hip hop song by African-Amer­i­can singer YG that was posted on Youtube two years ago and drew about 150,000 views and more than 700 thumbs up, en­cour­ages rob­bing a spe­cific eth­nic group — Chi­nese Amer­i­cans.

De­pict­ing armed, masked black rob­bers break­ing into a house in a Chi­nese neigh­bor­hood, the song goes, “First, you find a house and scope it out. Find a Chi­nese neigh­bor­hood ’ cause they don’t be­lieve in bank ac­counts.”

The lyrics con­tin­ued, “Go take the jew­elry box (in­stead of plasma and lap­top) to the Slau­son they’ll give you cash back in the same day.”

I have to con­fess that I was stunned to read the lyrics and watch the video. Isn’t it out­ra­geous? I can’t help but won­der how a video with such a ma­li­cious in­tent and pro­mo­tion of racism and crime can go live on Youtube in the first place.

I’m not the only one who felt of­fended and ir­ri­tated. Ac­tu­ally, the en­tire Chi­nese com­mu­nity across Amer­ica in re­cent weeks signed a pe­ti­tion to ask Youtube to have the video re­moved, and apol­o­gize.

The pe­ti­tion, cir­cu­lated through Wechat groups — a pop­u­lar so­cial net­work among Chi­nese peo­ple — asked the public to take ac­tion, flag the video, file an abuse re­port, and make Youtube feel their frus­tra­tion and out­rage.

“Crimes against Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ties are on the rise in re­cent years,” said Luo Ping, a Fre­mont res­i­dent. “We are stereo­typed as rich, weak and easy vic­tims. This video of hate speech should be taken away im­me­di­ately.”

Dozens of Chi­nese-Amer­i­can busi­ness own­ers on the East Coast vis­ited the FBI and the US At­tor­neys’ Of­fice last week to voice their con­cerns that the video has pro­voked rob­beries and vi­o­lence against Chi­nese Amer­i­cans.

“Be­tween coasts, and from South to North, we keep hear­ing bad news about ran­dom rob­beries in our com­mu­nity, home in­va­sions, in­juries and killings of our peo­ple,” said Dong Lim­ing, pres­i­dent of He­nan As­so­ci­a­tion in Cal­i­for­nia. “Videos tar­get­ing the Chi­nese com­mu­nity like this may in­cite crimes against a spe­cific mi­nor­ity and should be banned.”

The video also caused a back­lash on so­cial me­dia such as Face­book and Twit­ter. “Sick­en­ing and dis­taste­ful,” said one tweet.

“Meet the Flock­ers is a rap song that tar­gets the Chi­nese com­mu­nity. Black Lives Mat­ter wants to be re­spected? Re­spect oth­ers first.”

Here is my fa­vorite com­ment: “Google and Youtube, so it’s OK to pro­mote vi­o­lence against Asian Amer­i­cans? Is this your ‘Don’t be evil’ motto?”

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