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Spotify decides to remove ‘hate music’ from its catalogue in light of Charlottesville

Kai Acevedo

 // Aug 16, 2017

Spotify is taking a stance against hate music.

In the wake of last weekend’s deadly white supremacy rallies in Charlottesville, Va., the industry-leading streaming service has decided to begin removing tracks that fall into the category of hate music.

“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,” read a statement released by the streaming company.

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According to Billboard, the honorable actions taken by Spotify were the result of a Digital Music News article titled “I Just Found 27 White Supremacist Hate bands On Spotify” that was published earlier this week. “Back in 2014, the Southern Poverty Law Center published a list of white supremacist hate bands. A majority of those groups remain on Spotify today,” read the piece. Acts with names like Hate Forest, Kill, Baby… Kill!, White Knuckle Driver and No Remorse were just several of the many creators of music that “favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality” found on the streaming service with over 100 million subscribers.

Though there are limits to what can be protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment, removing all of the music that can be grouped into the hate music classification may still pose a challenge. Spotify, as well as its competitors, will have to sort through the legal guidelines in the various markets the streaming companies are active in, while also keeping in tune with the slang that is often used to keep offensive messages hidden in music.

To learn more about what’s been going on in Charlottesville, Va., see REVOLT’s coverage.

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