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Apple removes neo-Nazi albums from iTunes

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Apple removes neo-Nazi albums from iTunes
A file photo of seized neo-Nazi paraphernelia and music. Photo: DPA
16:36 CET+01:00
Apple's online music store iTunes in Germany has removed two albums from a neo-Nazi band after technology magazine Computerbild informed the company of the objectional content, the semimonthly reported this week.

More neo-Nazi music is becoming available online according to Computerbild, which discovered the albums on iTunes by neo-Nazi band Landser. The group, banned by a federal court in 2005 for blatant racism in their songs, is known for hateful tracks such as "Polacken Tango" (Polack Tango) and "Zigeunerpack" (Gypsy Vermin).

The iTunes store removed the content within two hours of the call from Computerbild, an Apple spokesperson told The Local on Tuesday. "This has never happened on iTunes before," he said. "I don't know how it made it into the store. We do not tolerate this kind of content."

But Computerbild wrote that such instances are just one example of an increase in radical right-wing content online.

Social networking sites like MySpace and UK-based Last.fm, an internet radio and music community site, have recently been confronted with users engaging in neo-Nazi networking. Last.fm told the magazine it strives to remove such content within 24 hours.

The German youth protection agency Jugendschutz is working to prevent the spread of such content, but reported this summer that it had documented more than 750 instances of hate videos and profiles online, plus some 1,635 hate propaganda websites in 2007 – the highest rate since they began researching in 2000. However, a Jugendschutz spokesperson told The Local on Tuesday that the organisation has no jurisdiction to observe online music sites, or any other internet sites potentially offering questionable products such as eBay.

Jugendschutz does take a position against neo-Nazi music itself, though. “The right-wing extremist scene has long identified with and used music to exercise their influence on young people,” the organisation said in a statement. “The internet helps bring right-wing music with racist messages to the world.”

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