Spotify 'urgently' removing white supremacist music

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Spotify has said it is “urgently” removing white supremacist music after being alerted to the presence of 37 “hate bands” on its platform almost a week on from the violence in Charlottesville.

“Illegal content or material that favours hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us,” a spokesman for the streaming service said in a statement. 

“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.”

A list of 37 hate bands available to stream on Spotify was published by Digital Music News on Monday.

Violent scenes: A woman receives first-aid after a car ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville (AFP/Getty Images)

They included the bands Tattooed Mother F******, Kill Baby… Kill! and British band Skullhead.

One Skullhead song, “Love It Or Leave It” has the lyrics: “When people don’t work we pay more tax/ For the lazy c**** we’re breaking our backs/ Stop living off us and do your bit/ This is Britain love it or leave it.”

The bands were categorised as hateful by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), an American not-for-profit organisation which monitors extremist groups.  

SPLC prompted rival streaming giant Apple to start pulling music in 2014 after it pointed out white power tracks on iTunes. Before Monday, many of these songs were still available on Spotify.

Spotify has put together a “counter-playlist” to the white nationalist music. Titled “Patriotic Passion”, the playlist includes songs from Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone and RuPaul. It encourages listeners to “learn more about fighting social injustice” at the SPLC website. 

A neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia ended in horror on Saturday when James Alex Fields Jr allegedly rammed his car into anti-racist counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more.

Two police officers were also killed when the helicopter they were using to monitor the violence crashed.

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