At the beginning of the week, STU48 released the music video for its long-awaited debut single "Kurayami". That version no longer exists.
The original version of the "Kurayami" MV was released on December 25. While fans were excited to see the new group finally debut, netizens were taking note of something else: the amount of dislikes the video received.
There was an alleged campaign to give the "Kurayami" MV as many dislikes as possible. The motivation behind it was unclear. Some speculated people were unhappy with the way the group had been handled so far, while others claimed Nogizaka46/Keyakizaka46 stans were trying to start a fan war.
The amount of dislikes the video had received after one day was approaching 1,000. Compared to the 2,000 likes and 10,000 views it received, the ratio of dislikes was much higher than expected.
And then it all went away.
On December 27, the originally uploaded music video was deleted. The MV was re-uploaded the same day on STU48's official YouTube channel. The move reset not only the video's views, but also the amount of dislikes it had received.
According to officials, technical difficulties is the reason for the re-upload. A new version of the MV was uploaded which is brighter in spots, and some scenes were slightly extended.
Some netizens aren't buying the official explanation. There are netizens who believe the group's staff did not want the negative attention associated with having a high dislike ratio, especially on a group's debut single. Concerns that this would adversely affect sales was also cited as a possible reason for the re-upload.
Allegations of manipulation to make the music video seem more favorably received have angered netizens who do not believe it is ethical to erase results that management didn't like.
If management deleted the original video to erase its dislikes, its efforts were in vain. At the time of this article's publication, the video had been viewed 10,000 times, liked 1,000 times, and disliked 705 times.