Spotify, Apple, Deezer and YouTube hosted racist music, investigation finds

Ellie Harrison
·1-min read
Services have deleted racist content (Getty Images)
Services have deleted racist content (Getty Images)

Major music streaming services have removed racist, antisemitic and homophobic content from their platforms, following an investigation.

The BBC found sections of Hitler’s speeches, references to white power and celebrations of the Holocaust present in songs on certain services.

Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Deezer are the platforms that have removed content since the investigation.

According to the BBC, Spotify said the content unearthed violated its hate content policy and YouTube said there was no place for hate on its platform. Apple Music has now hidden the majority of the songs and is looking into the rest, while Deezer is yet to comment but is investigating the issue.

One song on Spotify contained the lyrics: “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.”

Eric Ward, a civil rights strategist at the Western States Centre, said: “The onus is on streaming platforms to do a better job at monitoring and searching for this music.”

He added that people “trust streaming services” and do not use them “to be presented with hate music and hate lyrics”.

In August, Rita Ora, Lewis Capaldi, Nile Rodgers and Little Mix were among the 700 music industry figures to sign an open letter urging people to “wipe out racism now”.

The letter cites recent “anti-Jewish racism”, seemingly in reference to grime artist Wiley’s attacks on the Jewish community.

Wiley’s anti-Semitic posts were branded “abhorrent” by prime minister Boris Johnson and condemned by a number of other figures in politics and music.

In response to the posts, Wiley was dropped by his management company and banned from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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