Spotify denounces white supremacy, vows to erase hatred off platform
Three years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center flagged a collection of white-supremacist acts and racist “hate bands” on Spotify. In light of recent events in Charlottesville, the US government’s response, and the release of a Digital Music News’ story titled, “I Just Found 27 White Supremacist Hate bands On Spotify,” the streaming giant has promised to delete all associated acts.
A Spotify spokesperson recently told Billboard in a statement that, “illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us.” Continuing, “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.”
With the news also comes the possibility of a stricter review of Spotify’s music library and its recommendations towards listeners on a larger scale, in the meantime blocking all hate-related content from its airwaves. In an effort to bring people together, Spotify’s also reportedly putting together a new playlist called “Patriotic Passion” delivering inclusionary tunes from the likes Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga, and Khalid.
“It’s a soundtrack to an America worth fighting for,” Spotify’s spokeswoman said in a separate statement.
Of course, in working to erase hate Spotify and all streaming platforms are placed in a difficult position in terms of determining what is free speech. For example, a Spotify playlist currently under question is a collection of Nazi marching band songs. While that is technically a “hate band,” one may argue Spotify should preserve it as a historical work.
While stopping the stream of hate is a difficult feat it’s one that is indeed feasible with the right amount of work.