Spotify bans white supremacist bands, as Apple CEO Tim Cook denounces neo-Nazis

SpotifyUK-based band Skinfull was removed from Spotify after it was identified as a ‘hate band.’

Joining the growing list of tech companies denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy, Spotify and Apple have now publicly condemned the hate groups.

Spotify removed a number of white supremacist bands from its catalogue this week, after a report exposed the presence of such groups on the streaming service.

The removed bands were all flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate bands” three years ago, but the issue only came to the company’s attention after Digital Music News published a story titled, “I Just Found 37 White Supremacist Hate Bands On Spotify,” in the aftermath of Charlottesville, according to Billboard.

A Spotify spokesperson told Billboard: “Illegal content or material that favours hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. 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.”

Over at Apple, CEO Tim Cook issued a memo to his staff condemning both white supremacy and President Donald Trump’s contentious response to the events that unfolded in Charlottesville.

“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” Cook wrote. “This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality.”

Cook went on to say that he disagreed with Trump’s establishing a “moral equivalency” between the violence of white supremacists and the counter-protestors.

“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans,” he wrote.

Read Cook’s full memo here.

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