A Look at Spotify’s Growing White Supremacist Content Problem

Spotify white supremacist content
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Spotify white supremacist content
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Photo Credit: Anti-Defamation League (Spotify)

The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has highlighted how white supremacist content flourishes on Spotify under several music genres.

The report focuses on how Spotify has updated its anti-extremism policies based on past reporting. But those policies don’t seem to be enforced with any regularity as extremist content still exists. One problem is that problematic content is only reportable on the Spotify desktop app–there is no function to report content via mobile.

The CoE report identified white supremacist bands in several musical genres and sub-genres. The three most popular white supremacist sub-genres on Spotify include fashwave, rock against communism, and national socialist black metal.

What is Fashwave?

Fashwave is a sub-genre of the vaporwave electronic music movement. It was created to spread white supremacist ideology, with its name derived from the word ‘fascism.’ Fashwave band son Spotify include Ironmench, Elessar, and OBNX.

What is Rock Against Communism?

This sub-genre of punk is full of songs that promote white supremacist ideology like antisemitism and racism. RAC bands on Spotify include Kushfrost, Pugilato NSHC, and 13 Knots.

What is National Socialist Black Metal?

This sub-genre of black metal focuses on promoting ideas of fascism and white supremacy within the metal community. Some of the artists that are part of this movement include Wiking 1940, Mayhem, and Übermensch. Many of the ideas communicated in the lyrics of their music promote extremism, violence, and war.

The Anti-Defamation League says not only is white supremacist content flourishing on Spotify – these bands are becoming ‘verified’ artists on the platform. Verified artists on Spotify can expand their fanbase with extra tools. Some of the verified artists with ties to extremism include Pugilato NSHC, DJ Dark Matter, and Wiking 1940.

Following the ADL report, Spotify responded by removing music from Wiking 1940 and Pugilato NSHC. Spotify users can search for the music, but it is not currently playable on the platform. But plenty of user-generated playlists still feature Nazi symbolism.