The spread of videos glorifying gangs on YouTube has been criticized for promoting illegal activities and inspiring copycat crimes. There are at least 11 so-called ‘gangster YouTubers’ who run YouTube channels specializing in gangster content.
According to data from the National Police Agency to Rep. Chung Woo-taik of the National Assembly's Public Administration and Security Committee on Monday, a month-long investigation from Sept. 7 last year revealed 11 identified gangster YouTubers nationwide. At the time of the initial investigation in October 2019, there were only three gangster YouTubers. However, the number increased to seven in August 2020 and April 2021, and then rose to 11 in the past year.
Those labeled as gangster YouTubers by the police are individuals who cover their gangster experiences and produce gang-related content. Their channels are filled with unfiltered videos on topics such as joining a gang, making money illegally, and stories of gang brawls. Nevertheless, no investigations or prosecutions have arisen from monitoring these gangster YouTube channels.
The National Police Agency recorded 1,264 gang-related arrests through May of this year. Among these, 46 (3.6 percent) were teenagers, 372 (29.4 percent) were in their 20s, and 360 (28.5 percent) were in their 30s. This rise in the number of 'MZ (Millennial + Generation Z) gangsters,' who have grown up watching gangster YouTube videos, has raised concerns.