Following a BBC News investigation, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Deezer have now removed racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic content from their services.
It’s difficult to quantify the scale of the problem. However, the BBC investigation easily found at least 20 songs with disturbing content:
• Songs glorifying ‘Aryan nations’ (The Nazis’ racial philosophy taught that Aryans were the master race)
• Bands repeatedly using anti-Semitic stereotypes and language, even celebrating the Holocaust
• Publicly curated playlists on Spotify under the title NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal), a genre linked to Nazism
• More than 30 groups associated with organisations classified as hate groups by civil rights groups
Searching out the music required no specialist skills or effort.
Most examples were found on Spotify… On Spotify, public playlists and “suggested artists” did make it easier for the BBC to find extreme content.
Apple Music said the company had hidden the majority of the tracks highlighted by the BBC, while the rest are still under investigation. It also highlighted that it has “strong editorial guidelines that prohibit distributors and rights owners submitting content like this”.
MacDailyNews Take: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Deezer have tens of millions of tracks. Perhaps, one day, Machine Learning will be able to better ferret out objectionable content that services do not want to carry.