Spotify pulls white supremacist 'hate music' from platform

SAN FRANCISCO — Music-streaming service Spotify announced it would remove "hate music,"  music by white supremacists, from its vast streaming library.

The move comes after a music news blog, Digital Music News, published a story on Monday identifying 37 white supremacist bands that could still be found on Spotify. Those artists were first flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group that researches extremism, in 2014.

In response to the article, Spotify's press office said in a statement that it removes material "that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality" as soon as it is "brought to our attention." Billboard first reported the removal. 

Of the 37 bands Digital Music News found, Spotify said it removed several while the rest were under review. Already, many artists on the list appear to have artist pages on the platform, but no songs.

Bands that have been removed or are under view include Blood Red Eagle, Freikorps, Skinfull and Skull Head.

Spotify may also start blocking white supremacist bands from being recommended by its algorithms, Billboard reported.  

The SPLC first singled out bands that identify with the White Power movement or have racist lyrics in 2014, but at the time targeted Apple's iTunes, which started to remove the music, according to the SPLC. The organization also noted at the time that Amazon was slower to react.

Neither Google, which operates Google Play, nor Amazon immediately responded to requests for comment. Some of the bands identified by the SPLC are available on their sites.

Spotify pulled the songs just days after a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va. turned violent over the weekend. The incident has become a tipping point for technology and social media companies, who in the wake of the protest have begun removing white supremacists and Neo-Nazis from their platforms.

The music streaming service is continuing its activist streak. In January, the company made playlists supporting refugees after president Donald Trump's travel ban.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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