YouTube and other social media websites have strict rules on playing copyrighted content. Police have been using that to prevent embarrassing videos from being posted on the platforms.
Residents in Santa Ana, California were woken up by blasting music around 11pm on April 4, a Monday. But the music was not a bass bumping rap song or a heavy metal piece with screaming vocals, it was “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” from the animated Disney film “Encanto.” And it was not being played by a teenage house party or an inconsiderate driver with a loud sound system, but a police vehicle.
Police responded to a stolen vehicle call in the neighborhood when an observer who runs the YouTube channel Santa Ana Audits started recording the activity. That’s when officers started blasting the Disney owned track, in an apparent attempt to prevent the video from being posted on YouTube and Instagram. Thanks to those platform’s algorithmic copyright enforcement, any video that includes a copyrighted song is susceptible to being removed. Its channel owners are also subject to warnings and even getting banned from the platform.
Unfortunately for Santa Ana Police, they happened to be in the neighborhood of city councilman David Penaloza who, like many of his neighbors, was awakened by the ruckus caused by the city’s police department.
Penaloza came outside and confronted the officer, who admitted that what he was doing was intended to prevent the video captured by Santa Ana Audits making its way onto YouTube.