Spotify and other music streaming service are actively deleting racist music from their catalogs. Now, a leading digital distributor has pledged to do more in order to keep those songs from getting legally streamed in the first place.
CD Baby’s “Hatespeech or Offensive Content Policy,” located in the frequently asked questions area of its website, states that it “does not distribute content that intentionally promotes violence against persons of a specific race, color, religion, nationality, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We reserve the right to refuse submissions of this nature, or to cancel submissions that fall into this category at any time.”
Speaking with Variety, CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux called hate speech “particularly odious,” but cautioned that “we carry over 8 million songs that hundreds of thousands of artists self-distribute on the CD Baby platform, and it is impossible to screen every song for objectionable content.”
Maddux stressed that the company encourages users to flag offensive content. “Reports of hate-promoting music are taken very seriously and we are making every effort to flag and vet tracks of concern,” he said. “In the event we find content in violation of these guidelines, we will take it down.”
Following reports that Spotify has been deleting hate music, Paris-based competitor Deezer signaled that it would be doing the same. The service told Digital Music News that it was acting “swiftly” to remove “any material that is in any way connected to any white supremacist movement or belief system.” Google has also vowed to delete music that violates its existing policies on hate speech, but that it only takes action if users report it — a process that is not seen as very intuitive.