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Where is lo-fi girl? YouTube kills the beloved study/chill icon

Bring her back :(

If you’ve been online in the last seven years, chances are you’ve come across the Lofi Hip Hop girl. Created in 2015, the live stream is one of the longest-running videos on YouTube, recognised for its 24-hour loop of calming yet engaging beats to chill/study to against an image of an anime girl wearing headphones. With over 668 million views, the page has cultivated a dedicated fan base of listeners, who gather on the stream’s live chat to swap tips and support. So, when YouTube took down two of the platforms’ most popular live-streaming music videos, fans were worried.

On Sunday (July 10), the streams “lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to” and “beats to sleep/chill to” were both taken down. The videos collectively have a total of 797,341,998 views. That day, the Lofi Girl channel tweeted that its videos were taken down, and received a copyright strike (if a channel receives multiple strikes, it’s removed permanently). YouTube admitted in a tweet the following day that it mistakenly took them down after users abused the reporting system with false copyright claims, adding that it can take up to 48 hours for wrongly removed videos to be reinstated. 

This isn’t the first time Lofi Hip Hop girl has been the target of hateful copyright claims. In 2020, YouTube mistakenly removed the channel for violations of the Terms of Service, though shortly after admitted on Twitter that it was an error. The stream was previously removed in 2017 for using a looping GIF from Studio Ghibli’s Whisper of the Heart, though this was quickly replaced with the custom image we know today. 

As of Tuesday morning (July 12), both streams are still offline. But the channel has a strong community backing it, with 30,000 members on the r/LofiGirl subreddit and a 700,000-member Lofi Girl Discord. For now, all we can do is wait patiently for YouTube to reinstate the streams and for Lofi Girl to return to her desk and resume her studies.