Despacito: Most watched YouTube video ever 'deleted' in apparent hack

Spanish-language hit had just broken the record with 5 billion views

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 10 April 2018 16:02 BST
Súbeme la radio: How audiences are adapting to non-English language music

Luis Fonsi’s record-breaking video for “Despacito” was temporarily deleted from YouTube after a small number of high profile Vevo accounts were hacked.

Just five days after it was announced that the video, which also features Daddy Yankee, had reached the remarkable milestone of becoming the first YouTube video in history to reach 5 billion views, it disappeared.

A still on the video showed several masked figures aiming guns at the camera, which is not a scene from the “Despacito” video. When fans attempt to press play, it said the video was unavailable. The video has since been reinstated and has the same number of views as before.

More than a dozen other artists, including Shakira, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Drake, were also affected. The original clips had been posted by Vevo.

The hackers, calling themselves Prosox and Kuroi’sh, wrote “Free Palestine” beneath the videos.

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.

It also became the most-streamed song in the world after reaching 4.6 billion plays. A remix of the song featuring Justin Bieber also proved hugely popular.

The BBC reports that a Twitter account appearing to belong 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.

A spokesperson for Vevo told The Independent: "Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained. We are working to reinstate all videos affected and our catalogue to be restored to full working order.

"We are continuing to investigate the source of the breach."

A YouTube spokesperson added: "After seeing unusual upload activity on a handful of Vevo channels, we worked quickly with our partner to disable access while they investigate the issue."

The Independent has contacted Luis Fonsi’s representative for comment.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in