Luis Fonsi’s record-breaking video for “Despacito” appears to have been deleted from YouTube in an apparent hack. Just five days after it was announced that the video ft. Daddy Yankee had reached the remarkable milestone of becoming the first YouTube video in history to reach 5bn views, it disappeared.
The Spanish-language hit “Despacito” was released in January 2017 and went on to break several records in music streaming, including one for the single with the most weeks at No.1 in the US, with 16 consecutive weeks. Of those, the actual video content itself appears to be unaltered. Many titles have been changed to include the names of the hackers, but only some feature the replaced cover image.
More than a dozen other artists, including Shakira, Selena Gomez, Drake and Taylor Swift are also affected. The original clips had been posted by Vevo. The Despacito video has been removed, but its cover image had shown a group wearing masks and pointing guns.
The hackers, calling themselves Prosox and Kuroi’sh, had written “Free Palestine” underneath the videos. Several of the clips remain live at time of writing. Of those, the actual video content itself appears to be unaltered. Many titles have been changed to include the names of the hackers, but only some feature the replaced cover image.
Both YouTube and the music video hosting service Vevo have been contacted for comment. A Twitter account that apparently belongs to one of the hackers posted: “It’s just for fun, I just use [the] script ‘youtube-change-title-video’ and I write ‘hacked’.”
“Don’t judge me I love YouTube,” it added.