Spotify removed several “hate bands” from its service in the US, on Thursday. The company’s trying to distance from the white supremacy movement.
Companies such as Facebook, PayPal, Apple, and Google are mimicking the move and sending a message of zero tolerance towards hate
“Hate bands” wiped out
Following a tumultuous week in American politics that began with a violent race-related rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Spotify sent a strong message and removed artists identified as a white supremacist “hate bands” from its service.
The leading music subscription company, with over 140 million subscribers, released a statement on Wednesday.
“Material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us,” it read.
“Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention.”
On Thursday, the company removed bands such as Blood Red Eagle and Tattooed Mother Fuckers.
The move came after a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) 2014 list of “hate bands” emerged earlier this week.
In 2014, the SPLC pointed out to Apple and the iTunes Store that they were selling, and thereby profiting from, openly racist, neo-fascist musicians, like the hardcore band Skrewdriver.
Music can be a particularly tricky, and important, font of hate for the tech world to grapple with.
The white-power rock scene has a long history, as well as real associations with violence.
The man who massacred six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012. He played in racist hardcore bands.
For now, at least, the bans would seem to have a pretty clear logic—making it harder for bands listed as hate groups by a hate-group watchdog organization to court enormous potential audiences worldwide.
No room for hateful messages, or ideas
The move follows a growing trend in which tech companies, including GoDaddy, PayPal, and Apple, are publicly denying service to white supremacist and alt-right organizations. Or at least distancing themselves from their content.
Facebook also took stepped this week to make it harder for racist fans to share photos like the one featuring Johnny Cash.
The social network drew its own line in the sand this week. They removed the profile pages of Christopher Cantwell. A well-known fascist activist who promotes overthrowing the U.S. government, according to the SPLC.
In a memo to his staff yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the companies actions. Apple company would donate $2 million and double its employees’ donations to human rights groups through Sept. 30.
“As a company, through our actions, our products, and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect,” Cook wrote.