Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming service, announced last Thursday that it has entered a partnership with the left-wing hate group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to police its music for hate content. A spokesman said that the SPLC could be a valuable partner in cracking down on “hate content” and “hateful conduct”.
The choice of the SPLC to help curb hate speech can only come as good news if one ascribes to its rather arbitrary standards for what constitutes “hate” speech.
Megan McArdle of Bloomberg wrote last year that the SPLC routinely lumps rational thinking conservatives alongside actual racists and extremists. But what bothers this writer along with McArdle and many other conservatives is that tech companies set up groups like the SPCL to define anything they don’t agree with as “hate content.” McArdle wrote:
“Given the increasing tendency of powerful tech companies to flex their muscle against hate groups, we may see more and more institutions unwittingly turned into critics or censors, not just of Nazi propaganda, but also of fairly mainstream ideas.”
Spotify’s 70 million paid subscribers make it the world’s largest music streaming service, and yet it chooses a group like the SPLC to be its standards enforcer?
Emily Jashinsky of the Washington Examiner called any claims to objectivity of Spotify’s new partner “nothing less than fraudulent.” A reality that is acknowledged by informed observers from the left as well as the right.
Time and again major media outlets have been forced to retract stories based on information supplied by the SPLC. The group has been blasted its careless definitions of “extremist” and “hate group.” A notable example is when the group labeled Dr. Ben Carson, now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a purveyor of “hate speech” and an anti-gay “extremist.” The SPLC later apologized to Carson, but only after an overwhelming amount of backlash.
Jashinsky sums up the absurdity of choosing the SPLC to spearhead “unbiased” and balanced speech when she writes:
“The routine of debunking their supposedly objective classifications occurs like clockwork each time a major outlet makes the mistake of turning to them when reporting on the many conservative thinkers and nonprofits the group absurdly designates as hateful.”
But the SPLC infiltration of social media doesn’t stop with music. Amazon invited the group to join in policing its charity program (Smile) which then rather quickly labeled the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) as a “hate group” and kicked it off the program. Several openly anti-Semitic organizations have been allowed to take part in the program while ADF still is locked out.
Another social media giant that had invited the SPLC into its fold is YouTube. Until recently shielded by a confidentiality agreement, it has now been revealed that the SPLC is a long-time partner of YouTube in its “Trusted Flaggers” program.
Such flaggers are given digital tools that enable them to mass flag content for review by YouTube personnel. More pervasive is the fact that YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” serve as guides to YouTube’s content monitors and engineers as they design algorithms for policing the video platform.
Spotify defines “hate content” as content that “expressly and principally promotes, 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.”
To its credit, spokesman for the streaming service say that while “it’s important to remember that cultural standards and sensitivities vary widely,” there will always be, “content that is acceptable in some circumstances but is offensive in others, and we will always look at the entire context.”
The deeper one looks into Spotify’s policing program, the more obvious it becomes that its choice of the SPLC was no accident nor blip in the system. Every group chosen to help censor Spotify’s content are radical left-wing groups including The Color of Change, GLAAD, and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
All three of these have targeted stalwarts of the Right with boycott campaigns. SURJ organized boycotts and protests targeted at businesses that affiliated with Trump. Color of Change organized boycott campaigns against Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly while they were at Fox News. GLAAD promoted a boycott campaign against Laura Ingraham of Fox News over a tweet.
Spotify’s list of content monitors includes zero conservative groups – a reminder that the thought police are everywhere.
~ American Liberty Report