Spotify Removes Hate Music from Their Service: ‘Material That Favors Hatred or Incites Violence…Is Not Tolerated By Us’
The music artists were identified as supposed hate bands by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2014. Spotify was alerted by DMN’s list and acted promptly to remove them from their music catalog. The company's spokeswoman maintains they were unaware of any hate material existing on their service.
In a statement to Billboard, she 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.”
"Illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us," she added.
According to DMN, most of the “hate bands” had very little listen counts, but users could easily find these acts by using Spotify’s recommendation algorithm. "In the wake of the rally in Charlottesville, Va., and President Trump's white supremacy voice, the presence of white supremacy music on Spotify takes on a different light."
As for the issue of free speech, Billboard points out that companies like Spotify face a difficult job in factoring which music should be removed. The company must review laws in different countries and carefully listen to each song, as many of them include cryptic racist slang.
In an effort to promote good will, Spotify is currently promoting a new playlist called Patriotic Passion, which they describe as “a soundtrack to an America worth fighting for.” The playlist includes tracks by Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Khalid, Nas, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey and more.