Streaming music services have a problem with racist material

It’s insanely easy to upload your music to a streaming music service–as it should be. You want that to be as frictionless as possible for every musician on the planet. The problem is that it’s easy for racist material to end up on the platforms, too.

This has long been an issue for all the streaming companies. Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and all the rest–each with access to over 65 million songs–are playing a game of Whack-A-Mole when it comes to purging their libraries of this material, much of which is linked to white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.

Like what? According to a BBC report, there are plenty of songs “glorifying Aryan nations,” songs that celebrate the Holocaust, National Socialist Black Metal (Nazi stuff), and material linked to various hate groups. Some song titles have been altered (removing words like “Aryan” and “white”) to escape censorship.

Here’s a sample of this filth:

So wake from your bed, and raise your head

Aryan child, listen to what is said

So rise your hand and learn to love your land

For the white revolution needs your uncorrupted hand.

Since the BBC reported on the situation, the streaming services have again gone through their libraries looking for these songs and podcasts. Meanwhile, there’s a service called Liberplay, which hosts music that’s banned by other platforms. Their mission statement reads “we don’t want culture to be censored, regardless of its content.” Lovely sentiment, but guess who takes advantage of that position? Yep.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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