Antisemitic content reported to Spotify is yet to be removed

Spotify, the leading Swedish audio streaming and media service provider, receives dozens of reports of antisemitic podcast episodes and playlist titles, yet the platform failed to delete all the hateful content.

A report conducted by an organization that combats different types of online antisemitism has determined that the streaming platform Spotify has not addressed reports of antisemitic content with the seriousness expected.

A report conducted by Fighting Online Antisemitism, an NGO that aims to combat online antisemitism, has determined that Spotify has not addressed reports of antisemitic content with adequate seriousness, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Their analysis revealed a considerable amount of antisemitic content in diverse languages worldwide, discovered on playlists and podcasts from various usernames. Following the reports, Spotify removed 21.6% of the hateful content in March 2022, yet it is unclear whether other content has been removed since. Sources in the company state that many of these examples have already been removed.

FOA identified two types of antisemitic content on Spotify: playlists with antisemitic titles, and antisemitic playlists. While the songs with antisemitic titles were not antisemitic in nature, the lists with antisemitic titles and music called for violence, the killing of Jews, and the ridicule of the Holocaust. A total of 111 pieces were identified.

The organization also monitored podcasts with antisemitic titles, for example, lectures on antisemitic conspiracy theories. Among the titles were “Burn the Jews, they will not survive this time,” “Hitler was right,” “More gas for the Jews,” “The playlist Hitler listened to while killing 6 million Jews,” and “Kill these Jews.”

Some playlists had titles referencing Hitler or the Nazis with swastikas as cover pictures. After the FOA reported the hateful content to Spotify, many were deleted or renamed, yet some are still available online and contain antisemitic music.

Several of the hateful podcast episodes were centered on antisemitic conspiracy theories, for example, the Rothschild family and its clergy’s plan to destroy the white race or their plan for world dominance. In addition, numerous podcasts are centered around Holocaust denial and the conspiracy theory about Jews planning the destruction of humanity.

While Spotify removed part of the reported content, much of it is still available.

The conclusion of the FOA report urges Spotify to “remove the flagged content as soon as possible and to improve their automatic detection system of hateful content. Removing the content will assure that Spotify is a cleaner and safer net for its users and managers.”