Person on roof waving Palestine flag(l), Macklemore(c), Building with 'Free Palestine' spray painted on steps(r)

DFree/Shutterstock Macklemore/Youtube (Licensed)

Why are YouTube and Meta restricting Macklemore’s new pro-Palestine song ‘Hind’s Hall?’

The song, "Hinds Hall," has racked up over 400k views despite being age-restricted.

 

Tricia Crimmins

Tech

Posted on May 8, 2024

Rapper Macklemore released “Hind’s Hall” yesterday, a pro-Palestinian song in support of college student protest encampments. Yet YouTube and Meta have since restricted viewing of the video, leading some to decry the actions as censorship.

In the song, Macklemore, whose legal name is Benjamin Haggerty, expresses solidarity with student protest encampments on college campuses, condemns U.S. support for Israel during the Israeli-Hamas war, calls for a ceasefire, and raps “block the barricade until Palestine is free.”

Though protest encampments at Columbia and UCLA were raided last week by police, many student encampments remain across the country. Protestors and police clashed during those raids, resulting in hundreds of arrests.

Haggerty also denounces the police and law enforcement, and separates anti-Semitism (prejudice against Jewish people) from anti-Zionism (opposition to Israel), and says President Joe Biden is responsible for the mass civilian casualties in Palestine. More than 34,000 Palestinians have died in Israeli airstrikes since Hamas’ October 7. attack on Israel, which killed approximately 1,200 people.

“If students in tents, posted on the lawn, occupying the quad is really against the law and a reason to call in the police and their squad,” Haggerty raps, “where does genocide land in your definition, huh?”

Hind’s Hall, the song’s title, is a reference to the name Columbia University student protestors chose for the University building they took over last week. The name was in honor of Hind Rajab, a six-year-old Palestinian who was killed.

Haggerty’s music video for the track features clips of pro-Palestine protestors on Columbia University’s campus before New York police raided the encampment, Gazan journalists covering the war, various pro-Palestinian protests, and encampments across the country. Footage also shows Israel dropping bombs on Palestine and Biden—who Haggerty says he will not be voting for in November.

YouTube, one of the platforms on which the song’s music video was posted, put an age-restriction on the video, effectively limiting its viewership. Despite the restriction, the video had almost 400,000 views at the time of publication.

A warning on the video said “the following content may contain graphic or violent imagery” when the Daily Dot attempted to access it.

In the description of its Community Guidelines, YouTube states it enforces the site’s rules “regardless of the subject or the creator’s background, political viewpoint, position, or affiliation.” But many have noted that songs about violence against Palestinians and those in support of them remain on the platform unrestricted.

“So Macklemore’s anti-genocide song is censored on YouTube,” an X user tweeted. “What isn’t censored: These two videos by Israeli artists where they celebrate genocide, and threaten to kill Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and Mia Khalifa for their opposition to genocide. These were also big hits.”

The Daily Dot confirmed that the original music video for Harbu Drabu, or “נס X סטילה – חרבו דרבו (Prod. By Stilla),” which calls for celebrities like Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid who support Palestine to be killed, is not restricted on YouTube. The music video for “Sha-gar,” a rap song about bombing Gaza and “erasing” Palestinians, is no longer on YouTube.

Meta has also restricted content from Haggerty about Hind’s Hall: His post about it on Facebook was marked as “sensitive content.”

When Haggerty posted the song on Instagram, it was not restricted.

In December, Human Rights Watch reported that Meta censored Palestinian content on its platforms. And after a TikTok ban was made law two weeks ago, Republican lawmakers, including Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), have said TikTok was banned, in part, because it was “dominated” by pro-Palestinian content.

Macklemore seems to address such censorship in Hind’s Hall.

“You can pay off Meta, you can’t pay off me,” he raps. “You can ban TikTok, take us out the algorithm. But it’s too late, we’ve seen the truth.”


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*First Published: May 8, 2024, 12:27 pm CDT