Apple is currently in the process of removing white power music from iTunes. Apple made this decision following criticism from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
According to Spin, SPLC identified 54 artists on iTunes with racist music and criticized the “Listeners Also Bought” feature for promoting bands that promote similar messages. The SPLC reports that Apple has removed up to 30 of these artists from iTunes.
While SPLC is applauding Apple for their efforts, other music services have yet to get the message. According to Noisey Music By Vice, Apple is the only music service taking steps to correct this problem. Big name music providers such as Amazon and Google Play have large selections from racist bands such as NSBM (National Socialist black metal).
It seems these other music services have no intention of addressing the issue of having racist bands amongst their selections. Most of the services place the responsibility of music consumption on the consumer. Some servers like Spotify ask users to act responsibly and refrain from adding content that may be found offensive. However, others like Pandora simply warn consumers that they may encounter offensive content while on the site.
According to Spin, the director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, Heidi Beirich, commented, “Apple is doing the right thing by preventing iTunes from being used as a recruitment tool for white supremacists. Amazon and other online retailers that continue to sell this music need to realize that they are providing a powerful platform for extremists to reach young people with messages that advocate hate and violence against African Americans, Jews, and others.”
SPLC especially criticizes Amazon and Google because they claim to not support hate speech. While many of their policies address hate speech, they also make statements that the company has the right to decide what is considered offensive. According to Noisey Music By Vice, these companies make this vague statements to avoid any legal trouble.