Spotify has removed user-generated playlists which, while not necessarily carrying any offensive music, have antisemitic and pro-Nazi names.
In the past, Spotify has rightly been praised for removing hateful content, such as neo-Nazi music, from its streaming platform, but following an analysis by The Times of Israel of antisemitic user-generated playlists, Spotify has removed these as well.
Playlists have also been given titles by users such as “Lord of Jews”, accompanied by a picture of Adolf Hitler, and “The Fourth Reich” alongside a Nazi insignia. Other include: “Gas the Jews music”; “Gas Jews”; “Kill the Jews”; “The Holocaust was a joke”; “Rocking the soccks [sic] off holocaust victims”; “Just found out the Holocaust was fake”; “Hitler was right”; “Songs to snort Anne Frank’s ashes”; “Getting gassed with Anne Frank”; “Gas Anne Frank”; and “Auschwitz Train Sing Along”. One playlist, called “Auschwitz mixtape”, is accompanied by the phrase: “Almost as lit as the Jews in 1943”. Other playlist titles allude to antisemitic conspiracy theories, such as “9/11 did the jews”; and “RoThsChiLd Chillz”.
The playlist titles are searchable and available across the platform for its over 200 million global subscribers.
Users on Spotify can also register themselves under any name, and over 110 publicly viewable profiles are also registered under the name “Adolf Hitler”, with dozens more using variations of that name.
In a first statement to The Times of Israel, Spotify said: “We take this topic very seriously. Content (artists and music) listed by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM) in Germany is proactively removed from our service. We’re a global company, so we use the BPjM index as a global standard for these issues. Other potentially hateful or objectionable content that is flagged by users or others but not on the BPjM list is handled on a case-by-case basis.”
However, Spotify then reportedly advised that it would in fact remove the hateful content. A spokesman for the music platform said: “The user-generated content in question violates our policy and is in the process of being removed. Spotify prohibits any user content that is offensive, abusive, defamatory, pornographic, threatening, or obscene.”