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YouTube yanks PewDiePie video that attacked top kids channel

The video, titled “Coco,” was an escalation in a long simmering feud between Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, and Cocomelon, a channel that makes animated nursery rhymes.

YouTube has been criticized in the past for a lax approach to harassment and in 2019 updated its policies to bolster protections.
YouTube has been criticized in the past for a lax approach to harassment and in 2019 updated its policies to bolster protections. (Getty Images)

YouTube has removed a video posted by popular creator PewDiePie that criticized Cocomelon, the most-watched children’s channel on the site, stepping in to protect one of its biggest names from harassment by the fans of another top channel.

PewDiePie, once the most subscribed channel on the site, has courted attention by lashing out, seemingly facetiously, at channels that threatened his crown. He recorded a diss track in 2018 taking aim at T-Series, a popular Indian record label, and followed that up with “Coco.”

YouTube has been criticized in the past for a lax approach to harassment and in 2019 updated its policies to bolster protections. The company said it had started to see increased harassment of Cocomelon in the wake of the PewDiePie video being posted.

“Our policies prohibit content that leads to repeated patterns of harassment on- and off-platform,” YouTube said. “Following a review, we’ve removed the video in question for violating those policies because they had the effect of encouraging abusive fan behavior.”

PewDiePie’s beef with T-Series inspired his supporters to mount a global campaign to boost his subscriber count and led to an outpouring of sometimes racist sentiment against the channel. YouTube chose to take down the “Coco” video to prevent similar harassment of Cocomelon, which was created by a middle-aged Korean-American couple in Southern California.

By Lucas Shaw

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