Spotify removes white supremacist bands from streaming service

A spokesperson said that the service would not tolerate material that "incites violence against race, religion or sexuality"

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Thursday 17 August 2017 08:10 BST
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UK-based band Skinfull on Spotify, a group that has been identified as a hate band by the Southern Poverty Law Center
UK-based band Skinfull on Spotify, a group that has been identified as a hate band by the Southern Poverty Law Center

Spotify has removed a number of white supremacist acts after the Southern Poverty Law Center branded them as racist "hate bands".

The streaming service said that while record labels and aggregators were "at first hand" responsible for delivering artists to Spotify, "illegal content or material that favours hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us".

A spokesperson told Billboard: "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 has also been pushing a playlist called 'Patriotic Passion' - described as "a soundtrack to an America worth fighting for".

It includes songs such as "Star Spangled Banner" by Jimi Hendrix, "Living In America" by James Brown, "American" by RuPaul, and "El Americano" by Fuerza de Tijuana ft, Omar Ruiz.

Spotify's decision to remove the white supremacist bands comes after an article on Digital Music News criticised the presence of the acts on the service.

Paul Resnikoff wrote in the piece titled 'I Just Found 27 White Supremacist Hate Bands On Spotify': "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."

The US President caused uproar after his remarks about the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he referred to certain particpants of a protest whose attendees had included white supremacists, neo-Nazis and members of the KKK as "very fine people".

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Senator John McCain criticised Trump's ambivalence when discussing far-white protesters and those who formed a counter-protest against fascism.

"There's no moral ecquivalency between racists and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry," he said. "The President of the United States should say so."

He was backed up by Jeb Bush, a former Republican presidential candidate, who said: "This is a time for moral clarity, not ambivalence. I urge President Trump to unite the country, not parse the assignment of blame for the events in Charlottesville.

"For the sake of our country, he must leave no room for doubt that racism and hatred will not be tolerated or ignored by the White House."

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