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Spotify, YouTube and Facebook axe anti-LGBT song by Malaysian band Bunkface for hate speech

BY TAN MEI ZI Malay Mail Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020

(From left) Bunkface lead guitarist Paan, lead vocalist and guitarist Sam, and bassist Youk continue to defend their track ‘Akhir Zaman’. — Picture from Instagram/bunkfaceband

PETALING JAYA, March 11 — Various streaming platforms have removed Malaysian pop-punk band Bunkface’s track Akhir Zaman due to its homophobic content.

The song’s lyric video, which sparked controversy with the line “LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) boleh pergi mampus” (“LGBT can go die”), was removed from YouTube and Facebook last weekend for violating the platforms’ hate speech policies and community standards respectively.

Spotify followed suit and axed the single from their platform on March 9 shortly after being contacted by Malaysian LGBT portal Queer Lapis.

Pressure is mounting on other streaming services to do the same, but Apple appeared to brush off the matter in their reply to Queer Lapis’ request for comments.

“To ensure that all artists are treated fairly, our policy is not to censor artist content that may be deemed offensive, indecent, or objectionable.

“You may want to express your concerns to the artist’s record label. Though the label might not agree to withdraw the content, they might be able to offer a ‘clean’ version on the iTunes Store,” read Apple’s statement.

Queer Lapis noted that Deezer is currently reviewing Akhir Zaman for possibly violating their policies while Joox has been completely unresponsive.

Malaysian human rights activist Numan Afifi, who previously called for the removal of Akhir Zaman from YouTube for promoting homophobia and violence against LGBT people, applauded the website’s decision to take down the lyric video.

While Bunkface claimed in a statement that they did not intend to promote hatred with the song, many of their fans are spewing negative comments towards the LGBT community and its allies for reporting the track.

From: MALAY MAIL, MALAYSIA Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020

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