Joining the growing list of tech companies denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Virginia, violence last weekend, Spotify and Apple have now publicly condemned the hate groups.
Spotify removed numerous white-supremacist bands from its catalog this week after a report exposed the presence of such groups on the streaming service.
The removed bands were all flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate bands” three years ago, but the issue came to the company’s attention only after Digital Music News published a story titled “I Just Found 37 White Supremacist Hate Bands On Spotify” on Monday, according to Billboard.
A Spotify representative told Billboard: “Illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality, or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention.
“We are glad to have been alerted to this content – and have already removed many of the bands identified today, whilst urgently reviewing the remainder.”
Over at Apple, CEO Tim Cook issued a staff memo condemning both white supremacy and President Donald Trump’s response to the events last weekend in Charlottesville, where a woman was fatally struck by a driver identified as a Nazi sympathizer during demonstrations opposing a gathering of hate groups in the city.
“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” Cook wrote. “This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality.”
Cook went on to say he disagreed with Trump, joining the chorus criticizing Trump’s response blaming “both sides” in Charlottesville and saying Trump had established a “moral equivalency” between white supremacists and those who clashed with them over the weekend.
“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” Cook wrote. “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”
Read Cook’s full memo here.