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Despacito, other YouTube videos deleted in suspected hack

Despacito by Luis Fonsi was among the affected videos

Screenshot by Katie Collins/CNET

The record-breaking music video for Despacito disappeared temporarily from YouTube on Tuesday. Five days ago, Luis Fonsi’s video racked up the most views in YouTube history, topping 5 billion. More than a dozen other singers, including Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Drake and Shakira, were also apparently affected by Tuesday’s disruption that seemed to target Vevo-hosted videos on YouTube.

The BBC reported that the disappearance of the videos was the work of hackers, who replaced the cover image for Despacito with an image of masked figures wielding guns. Some of the affected videos also had their titles replaced with “hacked by Kuroi’sh and Prosox,” according to screenshots. Others had the words “free Palestine” written underneath them.

The content of some of the videos that remained online reportedly remained unaltered. YouTube and Vevo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Vevo was previously a victim of hacking in September, although it wasn’t videos that were affected then.

Instead, internal company documents were leaked online.

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