Spotify removes racist 'hate bands' from library

James Marshall
August 19, 2017

A lot of them are included in Southern Poverty Law Center's list of racist acts you can find on streaming services and digital stores.

Deezer has confirmed that it's outright removing such artists from its lists, while Google has reiterated that its policies say it'll remove any hate speech or music that's flagged by its users.

Spotify came under pressure after Digital Music News reported earlier this week that the service was streaming music from a number of bands highlighted in a 2014 campaign by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

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Spotify's quick reaction after the events in Charlottesville is taken to avoid any possible controversies, like the one with Justin Bieber recently, although that one is no way comparable to this one with hate bands. "We are glad to have been alerted to this content - and have already removed numerous bands identified today, whilst urgently reviewing the remainder", she said in the statement.

Removal of hate speech or any other content can be a tricky thing for Spotify and other streaming services since it involves the question of free speech. According to Paul Resnikoff of the "Digital Music News", digital music services now have more sophisticated recommendation engines, making it much easier to identify hate-oriented music "simply by referencing similar artists on Spotify itself".

Google, one the other hand, isn't actively seeking them out. CD Baby does not intentionally distribute content that promotes violence against persons of a specific race, color, religion, nationality, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and we reserve the right to refuse submissions of this nature, or to cancel submissions that fall into this category at any time.

Spotify's database of songs totals tens of millions.

So far the website hosting company GoDaddy has reportedly banned the white supremacist site The Daily Stormer from its platform.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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