After the deadly events that unfolded in Virginia over a white supremacist protest Spotify removed the music of several neo-nazi bands from it’s service. The move from the streaming company came after Digital Music News discovered the music was easily available. Now, other streaming companies have followed suit, removing the hate-music from their respective services.
Following the initial story on DMN, Spotify released a statement saying “Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention. 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.
The other streaming services that followed suit include Deezer, Google and CD Baby. However, the moves raise concerns about Freedom of Speech and not everyone was fully behind the censorship move.
According to a follow-up Digital Music News article:
The statements signal a strong push by the music and tech industries to address the issue of policing discriminatory content online. For example, both PayPal and Apple Pay have refused to support websites selling white supremacist material. And Google and GoDaddy booted popular neo-nazi website The Daily Stormer from their respective hosting services. Indeed, Cloudflare practically crippled the site by discontinuing internet routing to the site.
Not everyone has agreed with these moves, however. The includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which lambasted Google and GoDaddy’s response to The Daily Stormer. And Cloudflare only severed their support after the Daily Stormer claimed that the company was secretly supporting white supremacist ideology.
The thing about freedom of speech is you can be free to say what you believe. It’s an important part of our 21st century society. But you can’t pick and choose what get’s censored, unless it’s irresponsible and leads to physical harm – like yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater.
But that’s a slippery slope, and why the move by these digital companies may be great on the surface, but not so great when you think about the issue of censorship as a whole. On the other hand, they are private companies who have every right to choose what they allow on their services.