‘Extremist’ audio clips removed from SoundCloud in Europol operation

Authorities in six European countries have conducted a joint operation to remove extremist content and propaganda on SoundCloud.

The European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol said on Friday that hundreds of illegal files had been removed from the German music streaming platform.

The investigation was led by Germany’s Federal Police Office, alongside authorities in Denmark, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

German authorities said they had flagged around 1,100 profiles and audio files on SoundCloud between May 5 and 13.

This included “jihadist chants in several languages as well as audio fragments promoting violent and right-wing extremist groups”.

Some of the audio clips had been illegally uploaded on the site to recruit young people and had already been streamed several thousand times.

“Upon review, SoundCloud deleted the reported files that were considered a breach of its terms and conditions,” Europol said in a statement.

The large-scale operation is part of an ongoing partnership between the EU’s law enforcement agency and SoundCloud to combat online extremism and radicalisation.

“The efforts of Islamist/terrorist and right-wing extremist groups to propagate their ideologies and recruit new members remain high,” the German Federal Criminal Police Office said in a statement.

The authority added that the Europe-wide operation had been able to identify those responsible for sharing the extremist content.

“Music continues to be a popular medium for spreading extremist and terrorist views,” it said.

“Songs by well-known right-wing rock bands or Islamist rhythmic chants can often be accessed easily and without major restrictions on digital music platforms.”

“This immediate access to sometimes inhumane audio content can be an important factor in the self-radicalisation of individuals.”

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