Outrage as Spotify hosts songs filled with hate and Holocaust denial

EXCLUSIVE: Israel Advocacy Movement finds platform riddled with antisemitic tracks


An investigation into Spotify has found the music streaming platform riddled with antisemitic songs attacking “paedophile Jews”, apparently calling for a “second Holocaust” and stating that “Zionism must be destroyed”.

Other tracks contained Holocaust denial, homophobia and hatred towards other religions, including inciting listeners to burn mosques and “molest all Islamic believers”.

After being contacted by the JC, the multi-billion-pound tech giant removed some of the problematic tunes. But others remained available as the paper went to press.

The company was accused of “providing a pulpit for modern day hate preachers” after a pro-Israel activist revealed the bigotry running rampant on the music streaming service.

Joseph Cohen, of the Israel Advocacy Movement, scoured Spotify to highlight the worst of the prejudice.

One of the most alarming examples was a song called “Zyklon B”. Named after the poison gas used in Nazi death chambers, the track appeared on 
Brazilian band Unearthly’s 2003 release, Black Metal Commando.

In an email to Spotify, the JC cited multiple websites that had transcribed the song’s vitriolic lyrics as: “Unleashing second Holocaust / For punishment shall be repeated / Attack their greedy new found joy / Zionism must be destroyed”, and “They are targets of our rage! / We’ll destroy the entire race / We’ll bring Holocaust back / Zionism’s disgrace.”

Similarly, the song Secret War, by rapper K-Rino – a verified Spotify artist with 50,269 monthly listeners – includes the verse: “And fly you through the cycle of Zionist entitlements / Top rabbis and paedophile Jews / Get their values from the Babylonian Talmud.

“They don’t live by the Torah / They live by these rules / Sex trafficking, raping babies younger than preschool.”

Neither artist replied to requests for comment, including as to whether they accepted the accuracy of the transcripts.

Spotify pulled the two tracks after they were identified, but both musicians continue to be hosted on the platform.

Payday Monsanto, another verified artist on the platform, has a song on Spotify called Goy Boy. It says: “Prove to me the Holocaust ain’t a fraud /And I’ll give you a six million dollar reward”. 

His song Missiles With Relish says: “F**k a manufactured Holocaust / Chief Rabbis are urgin’ the IDF to bomb a mosque.”

A spokesman for the musician said: “The lyrics are correct. Payday isn’t ‘antisemitic’ either, he’s anti-semantic. His lyrics are not discriminatory, hateful, ‘racist’, or bigoted.

“He has simply pointed out facts and uncomfortable truths.”

Mr Cohen said: “The issue with Spotify involves effectively financing hatred, as it involves Spotify profiting from this hatred.

“There’s a responsibility on Spotify not to be effectively paying Nazi bands and antisemites money to go and make more music.”

He added: “There are an awful lot of songs which have lyrics that, if you were to utter them on social media platforms, you would rightly be removed.”

Purify Sweden, a track by black metal band Lord Belial, was also deleted from Spotify following the JC’s enquiry. 
The band confirmed that the lyrics included lines such as “all f**king mosques must burn” and “molest all Islamic believers”. 

The song also targeted other religions with lyrics like: “Buddha, Allah and Jesus f**king Christ-the whore! Must be erased from the memories of every Swedish born.”

A spokesperson for the band said: “Purify Sweden is about all religions, including Christians, Jews, Muslims and so on... we are not interested in your news story.”

Mr Cohen said he was able to find “dozens” of offensive tracks in just one week, raising serious questions about Spotify’s efforts to properly monitor the platform.

He said: “The fact that Spotify don’t have employees that have been able to detect this themselves is actually staggering. They have no shortage of funds.

“Policing something like Facebook or Twitter is huge, because of the vast numbers of people that you have on there.

“Monitoring content on something like Spotify, which is limited to creators, is far, far easier.”

The streaming giant boasts 320 million users and earns revenue from ads and premium subscriptions, which number 144 million across 93 markets.

Spotify has paid more than £16.7bn to rightsholders. Artists are given a portion of what the firm calls “streamshare”, a cut of the company’s net revenue.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “We have long known that Spotify has a dark side, providing a pulpit for modern day hate preachers and giving them access to a mass audience they could not otherwise dream of reaching… Spotify must act to clean its service up.”

Spotify’s website states that for artists to get their music on their service, they must have a distributor or record label. 

The company’s artist FAQ includes a link to “preferred provider” distributors, whose rights-holders instantly receive verified status. It is unclear if any of the investigated artists used such a service.

A spokesperson for Spotify said it “prohibits any content on our platform which expressly and principally advocates or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability. The content found in violation of our policies has been removed.”

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