Spotify decides to remove white supremacist bands from service after Charlottesville rally
Donald Trump's controversial administration has further distanced itself from the hearts of the American people, after he stated that "both sides" are to blame for the tragedy that occurred at Charlottesville wherein three people were killed and 19 others were injured.
Violent clashes broke out after a Unite The Right rally organised by white supremacist groups were met with counter-protestors. The alt-right organisations took to the city, which is located in Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
After 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed after white nationalist James Alex Fields ploughed his car into swathes of counter-protestors, the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe was forced to declare a state of emergency late on Saturday morning. Fields has since been charged with second-degree murder and remains in detention.
Despite immediately denouncing the violence, US President Donald Trump did not outrightly condemn the actions of the white supremacist groups who were proudly wielding torches and shouting insensitive statements such as "Jews won't replace us!" His most recent statement saw him assert: "you had a group on one side that was bad [...] you had a group on the other side that was also very violent." He continued, "nobody wants to say that. I'll say it right now," whilst his advisors stared at their feet, ashen-faced.
Others however, came out in droves to disparage the intolerance of such divisive groups, including the steaming service Spotify which was quick to remove white supremacist music from its platform.
On Monday, Digital Music News published a breakdown of how many white supremacist bands have their music available on Spotify. They identified that at least 37 outspoken hate groups are present on the streaming platform.
This is not the first time that people have discovered that the white supremacy movement has found such outlets. In 2014, the Southern Poverty Law Center circulated a list of the names of neo-Nazi hate bands who can be found on Spotify.
But despite the unsavoury publicity, the streaming platform chose to keep the majority of the groups on the site for another three years.
After the events at Charlottesville, though, and the publication of Digital Music News' report, Spotify acted quickly to remove the groups.
Speaking to Vice, Spotify made their stance on the matter clear. A representative from the company stated that they strike to take "immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention.”
However, other streaming services have not proved to be so progressive. Big-names such as Twitter, Google and PayPal claimed that they were upholding our right to free-speech by allowing white supremacists to openly use their platforms and spread their message of hate. But post-Charlottesville, it's clear that such high-profile companies are now rethinking how they could be perceived if they remain affiliated with groups that harbour such divisive ideologies.
As of yet, the only streaming services that have announced that they will be removing Neo-Nazi music are Spotify and the France-based Deezer.