Spotify removes antisemitic content following successful petition

The same antisemitic songs and other content is still freely available on the platform Soundcloud despite being against its content policy


NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: A woman walks through a hallway at Spotify offices following a press conference on June 27, 2013 in New York City. Spotify will add 130 tech and engineering jobs in New York and expand to a new office in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The streaming platform Spotify has removed “violent extremist antisemitic content” and songs following a petition organised by We Believe in Israel (WBII) and the Board of Deputies.

The removed songs include “Arabic Katyusha” and “The Death of Israel”, as well as “Udrub Udrub Tel Abib” which allegedly incites violence against Israelis while using antisemitic language.

In that latter song, the lyrics allegedly include: “Strike a blow at Tel Aviv and frighten the Zionists. The more you build it the more we will destroy it”, “We don’t want no truce or solution. All we want is to strike Tel Aviv”, “Oh you settler, with your sidelocks, in your shelter you cower with fear”, “Strike, oh Qassam missile, do not let the Zionists sleep. Even if they beg for mercy – be sure not to show Tel Aviv any mercy”, and “Oh Fajr missile, explode in the Knesset and the army base.”

A petition to the streaming giant to remove the songs was organised by WBII and attracted nearly 4,000 signatures, while the Board of Deputies “made representations to the Secretary of State of Digital Culture, Media and Sport on the matter.”

Luke Akehurst, Director of WBII, said: “It’s good news that Spotify have finally listened to public disgust about hosting clearly antisemitic content which contravenes their own content policies, including directly inciting violence against Israelis."

Amanda Bowman, Vice President of the Board of Deputies, said: “We are pleased that Spotify have acted to remove certain material that clearly breached their own rules regarding hateful messaging. We hope that they will continue to apply these rules to works by other artists that similarly contravene their guidelines.”

The same antisemitic songs that have been removed are still available on Soundcloud despite having a content policy against "content that promotes or encourages hatred, discrimination or violence against others based on things like race, cultural identity or ethnic background, religious beliefs,"

Some comments left by users underneath the songs on that platform call for extreme violence.

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