YouTube announced today that it would be removing British rapper M.I.A.’s new music video, ‘Born Free’, from the site. The nine minute long video clip features gun-toting soldiers capturing and executing redheads in an extremely graphic nature, nudity, and profane language. A YouTube spokesperson said, “On YouTube the rules prohibit content like pornography or gratuitous violence. If the content breaks our terms then we remove it.” M.I.A.’s video clearly broke YouTube’s terms and is therefore suffering the consequences.
M.I.A.’s video is so violent and offensive that I can’t help but wonder whether her record label, XL, knew that it would be removed from YouTube. Perhaps that was even their goal when they uploaded the video. After all, it has been proven that controversy is one of the best forms of promotion. All the attention that the video has gotten as a result of YouTube’s ban is great promotion for M.I.A.’s video and her music. As the news of YouTube’s removal of the clip spreads, more and more people are tweeting links and sharing the video with their friends.
Although the video is in the process of being removed from YouTube it can still be found on M.I.A.’s official website. However, bear in mind that this video is not for the weak-stomached.
M.I.A.’s ‘Born Free’ seems to follow in the footsteps of Lady Gaga’s recent Telephone clip, which spread like wildfire as it shocked and awed the online video viewing community. However, Lady Gaga pushed the envelope without crossing the line of no return. Did M.I.A. go too far with her ‘Born Free’ video? Do you think the publicity she’ll get from this will boost her career or enrage her audience?