Spotify removes racist 'hate bands' from library

Spotify is making an effort to block hateful music from their service.

The company has removed a number of white supremacist bands from their platform.

A spokesperson for Spotify told Billboard while record labels and music aggregators have "first hand responsibility" for the content they provide on Spotify, "illegal content or material that favours hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us."

In a statement the company said “Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention. We are glad to have been alerted to this content – and have already removed many of the bands identified today, whilst urgently reviewing the remainder.”

Spotify also promoted a patriotic playlist, calling it "a soundtrack to an America worth fighting for."

Spotify's actions came after website Digital Music News published an article highlighting 37 white supremacist bands they had found in the music library.

Most of these groups only had a small following, but Digital Music News' Paul Resnikoff wrote "in the wake of violent clashes in Charlottesville and an increasingly vocal, post-Trump white supremacy voice, the presence of white supremacy music on Spotify takes on a different light."

US civil rights group the Southern Poverty Law Center had reported a number of hate groups on streaming services in 2014. Apple removed the flagged content immediately, but SPLC noted that other services including Spotify had been slow to follow suit.

Following the violent clashes between white supremacist groups and protesters last weekend, a number of tech companies are making an effort to block hate groups from using their services.

While they have previously defended their role as upholding free expression, giants such as Google, Facebook and PayPal have made efforts to ban extremist groups and individuals for violating terms of service. Twitter and Instagram are similarly removing hate groups from their platforms.


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