Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music Remove Racist Music After BBC Investigation

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

According to a new BBC report, Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music have now removed racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic content from their services.

BBC Newsbeat said its investigation led to the discovery of at least 20 songs and the process involved “no specialist skills or effort.” Tracks reportedly contained lyrics praising “Aryan nations,” featuring antisemitic language and in some cases “celebrating” the holocaust.

Eric Ward, a civil rights strategist at the Western States Center, said people “trust streaming services” and didn’t use them “to be presented with hate music and hate lyrics”.

“The onus is on streaming platforms to do a better job at monitoring and searching for this music. They simply need to invest more. This is about the credibility of a company and a brand. Brands are important and white power music will damage your streaming brand.”

The companies were quick to state that their policies prohibit bigoted material. Spotify said it bars music that “expressly and principally” sparks hate and violence. Apple said it had “strong editorial guidelines” banning this content. YouTube, meanwhile, said there was no room for hate on its service.

None of the providers said how the hateful music reached their platforms despite those policies, however. While Spotify said it was “continuously” refining its content monitoring process, the findings come three years after multiple services pulled hate music following racist marches and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Clearly, any automated filtering is still limited.