In the wake of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, music streaming service Spotify, has taken down white supremacist music from their platform. Many are wondering why Spotify didn't act on the issue sooner, much like our President of the United States. Whatever the reason may be, Spotify has already started going through their immense catalog and deleting known racist and "hate bands" while asking users to report anything that they might find to be racist. Sure enough, a cursory search through the streaming giant yields no results for popular hate bands such as Screwdriver and Wyatt Power.
Billboard reports that the move came after Digital Music News posted a story headlined "I Just Found 27 White Supremacist Hate bands On Spotify," bringing the content to Spotify's attention. A Spotify spokeswoman told Billboard in a statement that the music comes to them from a variety of sites and record labels and they are the ones who are immediately responsible for the music ending up on the streaming platform. The spokesperson went on to say that Spotify does not tolerate hate music. The statement reads.
"Illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. 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,"
Apple Music and other streaming companies are expected to follow suit as many in the tech industry are against the current administration and their flirting with white supremacists in public. Reddit and Facebook are already actively removing hate groups from their platforms and condemned the acts in Charlottesville before the President of the United States. Even tech leaders serving under the President have started to resign over the flirtations with the so called "alt-right" movement.
This is a good idea in theory, but it is also a very slippery slope when it comes to music. There have been many musical acts over the years that have offended people at least once for outrageous and hurtful lyrics over the years. Will Spotify go in and take out the Guns N' Roses song "One in a Million" from their service? The song openly attacks sexuality, immigration, and racism in just a few short minutes. What about certain tracks by N.W.A. that spread homophobia and sexism? The list could go on forever, but the real question is: Where do you draw the line?
Many applaud Spotify for taking a stand against hate as they should, but it looks like they may have to go deeper than they thought in assessing what hateful music is. But, this is an important step in fighting against hate in the world and it's important to not let any of those domestic terrorists have a voice, no matter what the Idiot in Chief says. Spotify isn't scared of losing some subscribers, why is the President?