Why did last.fm decide to kill a bunch of artist pages?

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I've been willing to tolerate a lot of stupid decisions by the last.fm staff, but this is honestly just aggravating. It seems like a bunch of controversial artists have had their pages completely wiped clean, with no shouts, pictures, etc. Most of the artists affected by this seem to be racist/NS bands (which I get, though I still think the decision to censor them in this way is infantile), but a number of non-racist bands have been censored as well. Pages for popular and relatively normal death metal bands like Mortician and Pungent Stench have been also been completely nuked. Is last.fm really trying to be the morality police now and censor naughty lyrics? What could possibly be the rationale?

This website has honestly gotten so bad. It's like the staff hates the userbase and is actively trying to alienate longtime users with their endless list of botched decisions since 2015. I've stuck around for as long as I have mainly for the great community and the lack of a decent alternative, but this will likely be the last straw for me unless the non-racist bands at the very least are uncensored.
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AnaalForsage

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Posted 1 month ago

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Last.fm has been in decline for months, and all they have to blame is themselves and their useless "updates" (look at the internet traffic statistics Hale Zimmerman posted!). Hopefully this is the final nail in the coffin for this godforsaken site, It was fun while it lasted though.
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AnaalForsage

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My guess is that the site will continue to slowly bleed to death as they enact update after awful update. It's so obvious they're trying to turn into music Twitter and transition into more of a mobile site, but it just won't work. I've been on the site since 2010 with various accounts, but if I first came across the site today in its current form, I'd never sign up.
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Patrick

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Exactly AnaalForsage! I remember in 2015, when this place was a thriving community with many talkative people, great personalization, and a forum. I cannot help but think they stepped backward with the entire site when they ought to do the opposite, considering how huge social media have become. It feels like you, my friends and I make up every metal-related shoutbox these days of comments.
(Edited)
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Hale Zimmerman

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The website only exists to remind people that they installed a scrobbling app on their desktop a decade or more ago. Most users have probably completely forgotten their profiles and aren't even using this website for its intended purpose: to track your listening data and use it to find new music based on your listening habits. For most it's just a little red circle amongst a slew of other icons just sitting in the tray. 

Patrick, I know you mentioned the site thriving in 2015. I'm sure it was more active then that it is now. But the fact is, if you look at the majority of shoutboxes for bands that are not currently charting artists (so groups like Fall Out Boy, Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X), you'll notice that the vast majority of the activity (shoutbox wise) last took place during 2010/2011. There's a few artists here and there that still manage to get a shout on their page every 2 or 3 months because they're still relatively popular within their respective scenes (think Pantera, or Lamb of God). But the truth is that 99% of artist pages/shoutboxes are a ghost town. There's literally no point in even discussing music on this website unless it's currently extremely popular, emphasis on artists that are currently dominating pop or rap radio in western nations or trending in places like the US, the UK. Most of this website's listenership is in one of those two countries.

The fact is, if you're looking for a more 'community' type of place to gather with fellow fans of any genre of music, no matter how obscure it is, you're better off looking to a site like Facebook. I don't particularly like Facebook, but the fact is that if you like something that isn't mainstream rap, pop or r&b, you'll find a community (usually several) of people from all over the world that enjoy the same music. Quite often those communities are thriving with activity. Unlike here you'll actually find daily updates and conversations. 

Even RateYourMusic, which somehow gets way more traffic than Last.fm (LOL) is a better place to discuss music. 

You'll notice a certain trend on Last.fm that I find kind of amusing. Want to know which pages are brimming with new shouts, recently uploaded artist photos, etc?

It's whatever music Brazilian men listen to. Go to any bubblegum pop artist's page that's currently big and you'll find the vast majority of activity on Last.fm comprises shouts from Brazilian men asking artists to "cum 2 brasil" or praising the artist in Portuguese. Eventually the flood of comments in a foreign language starts to just look like spam, or like you're on a Brazilian website. Probably not a very enticing look for potential new users. You won't see activity like this anywhere else on the site. So if you're wondering who is going to inherit this wasteland of inactivity when everyone else forgets and moves on to literally any other platform, it will be those Brazilian men. Maybe Last.fm will eventually move their headquarters to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro to cater to their largest, most profitable demographic. 

Anyway, as you all have already noted, it's been a steady stumble downhill for this site and it was probably in part because they deleted the features that actually kept people coming back to the website. They deleted groups, never brought them back. They took away the ability to customize your profile page. When there's nothing to do on the site, why even bother visiting? To be 100% honest, censorship or no censorship, this turd of a website has been a sinking ship since 2012 when everyone got bored with it. No amount of bringing back old features or implementing new ones is going to change that. Last.fm moves like a very slow, outdated WW1 tank that's being powered by some mostly used Duracell 9-Volt batteries and a potato. Every change they make takes dreadfully long and they are always behind the times regarding what people want. Whatever changes they make will be met with disdain from the community and any improvements will be viewed as 'too little, too late'. 
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AnaalForsage

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It's such a shame because it was easily the best music site on the web. I've discovered some of my all time favorite artists on last.fm and I've met some awesome people. The admins just fundamentally misunderstood why people first came to last.fm. It's not just about an obsession with meticulously keeping track of every second of music you've ever listened to (the only real benefit offered by the site today), people came for the community and the prospect of meeting like-minded people. The stats are cool and all, but with a dying community and no way to express yourself on your profile, it really becomes a sort of glorified music ledger.
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Patrick

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It’s such a shame because it was the best music site on the web. I joined this site before BETA came out circa August 2015. Fortunately, the site was still active, but when BETA came out in August, it was an official end for the site we knew. The new updated which they launched two days ago doesn’t help us much by bulking all these musicians. Major issues still persist, such as, trolls, expel circumvents, people who are using hundreds of alternative accounts to control galleries of clouted musicians and shoutboxes.

We still have issues with abused tags and seeing the same musicians on every tag, we go. The Administration still hasn’t done anything yet. I’m afraid to visit my library to see are there any of death metal musicians purged or not. I have hundreds of them if not almost one thousand. People are still begging the Administration to return useful features. The BETA stage should be like a year or even less. No, much less time to be more precise, but they have decided to drag it on and on. 

Perhaps they didn’t foresee some problems along the way, and that is why it has taken them so long to get things done. Who knows? It would be better to add new features and the keep the current ones, but no, let’s destroy the entire site by installing the unfinished layout that lacks many important features. That will do the job. I miss the old Last.FM: the lists, the blogs, the groups, and proper introductions with enough space! 

I’d love to see the ability to change your username. One of the most notable features on last.FM! It’s still under consideration, and since then we didn’t get any announcements about that topic. The inbox should be modernized and have a professional look. The current inbox lacks important features. I made a thread suggesting what should be installed, and they flagged my suggestion as “under consideration.” (https://getsatisfaction.com/lastfm/topics/a-better-message-center)

Let’s see how long it will take them to implement them. I also miss email notifications like, someone posting a shout in my shoutbox and they email me about it. I miss when you could see from which media player they were tracking their listening habits. I miss when you could see was someone online or offline. I miss the visitor toll. That needs to be implemented again. I also miss the activity thing on the right side, as if people will know if I posted a shout in some shoutbox or I uploaded a new photo for an artist. 

I also miss a little tiny feature that might not everybody cares much about it. The number of shouts in artist and user pages. I like to see if an artist got like 1000 shouts. I miss the shout count so much. I’m sorry, but it’s true! What Danlev and I have been discussing about several weeks ago proves enough that this site is not what it used to be after enormous updates four years ago. One of the most detested features track - artists have made a comeback again, and everybody loathed that feature so much! Why are you implementing something that caused so much grief four years ago? The mind boggles.

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Conan Smith

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I don't want the site to go down like this :(
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Tom Stephen

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Conan Smith Same :(


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mc666

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Is there another band called Mortician who sing about nazi stuff? Because the death metal band from NY only talk about B-grade horror movies.
According to discogs, there are three bands that go by the name "Mortician". NONE of them are racial or national socialist. The one you mention talks about horror as you said, and the other two (as far as I can tell) only talk about generic "metal" subjects (think manowar and similar bands).

https://www.discogs.com/artist/3789454-Mortician-3
https://www.discogs.com/artist/1995194-Mortician-2
https://www.discogs.com/artist/75313-Mortician




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AnaalForsage

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Mortician promotes hatred against hapless B-movie protagonists obviously
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Action Radar

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Suggested news articles about Spotify and YouTuve deleting Neo-Nazi music from their sites:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/spo...

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trendi...

Last.FM deleted these artist pages because Nazi imagery has been illegal in Germany for more than 70 years unless it's an educational context.

The site was founded in Germany and they still have to comply to that country's laws.
https://www.last.fm/legal/terms

"Last.fm is based in London – we quite like it here – and this document is to be interpreted in line with the laws governing England and Wales."


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Bogdan Makarov

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So, when is 50 Cent page or other gangsta rap pages are going to get banned? They promote violence. They have lyrics about robbing people, killing people, anti-police lyrics. They have photos with guns as a main photo. Can you please remove it?
Also for example, Lil Pump lyrics and many new wave rappers are also promoting drug usage as well as things mentioned above.
Please remove his page too. I'm very, very offended by this.
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Schander .

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Precisely. How is this less hateful, than some crypto/pseudo/quasi-fascist band, that nobody will EVER just "stumble upon". I think I'm going to report every single gangster rapper now... brb.
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AnaalForsage

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It's honestly a bit strange that racism is singled out as the one transgression that's exclusively beyond the pale. GG Allin, the Mentors, and Brainbombs can all promote rape (pedophiliac rape in the case of Brainbombs) and face no consequences. Of course I don't want those bands censored either, but I fail to see how Nokturnal Mortum is worse in any real sense.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Nokturnal Mortum have lyrics like "spit in Jewish faces, cut them into pieces", share stages with fellow Nazi bands, have spoken in favour of the Holocaust and against Jews, and have called for the death of christians. Whether they have attempted to backtrack on that or not in an interview, or since tried to claim they are a Pagan band, they're wholly a target of this filter.

Hateful content is defined internally at Last.fm and people can of course draw their own conclusions as to what that entails based on the artists that have been filtered. I don't believe Last.fm intend to spell it out more clearly than it already has been.

A number of the artists filtered have been on lists for many years, some compiled based on flags from specific governments. The handful of false positives will be addressed in the coming weeks.

In my own wholly personal opinion, the "other stuff exists" arguments being bandied around are a deflection coming mostly from a minority offended that Nazi artists have been partially no-platformed on this website, as they have been elsewhere. The fact that some users genuinely can't see why Nokturnal Mortum would be included over 50 Cent suggests that nothing Last.fm could do to clarify the situation would satisfy those individuals.

Finally, I reiterate - and a staff member confirmed this just now - that the ability to scrobble these artists is not blocked, so it isn't stopping users from listening to the affected artists if they wish to do so, although they will appear without images.
(Edited)
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Bogdan Makarov

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@KatyLB: "nothing Last.fm could do to clarify the situation would satisfy those individuals" okay so basically Last fm is hypocritical, officially now. Here's why. Can you explain me the difference between
"spit in Jewish faces, cut them into pieces"
and 50 cent's lyrics (let's still keep him as an example):
"Keep thinkin I’m candy till ya f****ng skull get popped
And ya brain jump out the top like Jack-in-the-box
In the hood summer time is the killing season
It’s hot out this b***h that’s a good ’nuff reason"

What's the difference here? The correct answer - there's no difference. It's about killing PEOPLE. It doesn't matter if they are jewish or..."regular" people. So Nokturnal Mortum "kills" people and gets  banned while 50 Cent goes on skull-crushing "killing spree" and stays. Sounds completely fair to me! Oh please.
Of course you will never satisfy us because there's simply no excuse to that.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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There is a difference but I don't think it helps to explain if you can't already see it. Last.fm's Terms of Use are implemented as they are, and unfortunately a vocal minority are not satisfied with that. They therefore have the option, should they wish, of not using the platform if they feel their ability to enjoy their favourite music is crippled by the removal of a few features on a few band's pages. I don't feel there's much more than can be said on the issue and I don't believe any further official statements are planned.
(Edited)
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sakigaby

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Katy, with all due respect to what you just said,
"In my own wholly personal opinion, the "other stuff exists" arguments being bandied around are a deflection coming mostly from a minority offended that Nazi artists have been partially no-platformed on this website, as they have been elsewhere."

I'm a brown latina woman and I live in the neighborhood of one of the major cities here and what I put up everyday blasted from car stereos or loud smartphones is precisely rap music with derogatory lyrics. Those other small-known bands hardly anybody knows them yet they are easy targets. Look, I don't sympathize with Nazi idealogy at all but if a small group of people are into that stuff, whatever. I can't help those lost-minded people just like I can't help those that enjoy rap music.

My point is, if last.fm is going to bother putting a ban on some very small-known bands then it has to be spread across the board. Otherwise, You're hypocrits. I heard some very nasty lyrics in rap music over the years you probably can't imagine, yet is everywhere. Those other "Nazi-type" music hardly anybody seeks for them. Most people in the world know Nazism is horrible but again, let them have their freedom of expression, even if they are a lost cause.

And don't give me this "It's not the same" crap. You don't know. You just don't know...what a woman of color puts up with in rap lyrics...and people accept it as normal.
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LWOLF817

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They therefore have the option, should they wish, of not using the platform...

"If you don't like it, then leave."
What a splendid mentality for a site losing popular traction...
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KatyLB, Moderator

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I think my point there, LWOLF817, is to say that the policy isn't going to be changed (save for, again, reviewing those artists that may have been caught in error), and that users unhappy with it ultimately would have to make a decision as to whether it ruins their enjoyment of the platform.

I of course also said that in a personal capacity as somebody that finds National Socialist ideology and the actions of the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s abhorrent and supports no-platforming anyone advocating for that wholeheartedly. I also do feel that there is a big difference between supporting a mass genocide that actually happened and a gangsta rapper bragging about hypothetically shooting people that dislike him. However, also note that I am a moderator and not an office employee (although I do communicate with said employees frequently).

I will leave my own contributions there rather than fuel the fire more, but again note that it is unlikely Last.fm staff will be clarifying the policy beyond Michael's statement on Friday.
(Edited)
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LWOLF817

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I think enough people have questioned the consistency and issues with this decision, so instead I'll ask this:

Why prioritize this? The site still has plenty of issues, bugs, mis-tagged artists, you name it. So why roll out this update when more crucial things could be worked on, especially when there's more issues than fixes coming from this?

I think it should also be noted that people are expressing their frustration with this change instead of ditching the site because they, like myself, really do want to love this site. If they didn't care, they would've been gone already and you wouldn't have to tell them the door is open.

Political stances aside, this is an objectively bad change.
(Edited)
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Ensor

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@KatyLB
In my own wholly personal opinion, the "other stuff exists" arguments being bandied around are a deflection coming mostly from a minority offended that Nazi artists have been partially no-platformed on this website, as they have been elsewhere.
That's a pretty bold, blanket assumption. And quite an insulting one to boot.

I most certainly do not support so called "Nazi artists", nor do I listen to death metal for that matter (it's just not my thing). I do however believe that more people should keep the following poem in mind as a reminder fro history of what inaction leads to:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The fact that some users genuinely can't see why Nokturnal Mortum would be included over 50 Cent suggests that nothing Last.fm could do to clarify the situation would satisfy those individuals.
The fact that "some users" see no difference between the two and consider them just as objectionable as each other speaks to the lack of intelligence of the people making up the rules.

Hate speech is hate speech, whether it is directed against a religious group like the Jews, attacks against women or simply people who are "different" to the individual spouting the drivel!

There are no "levels" to hate speech. It's either all objectionable, or none of it is. Period.

They therefore have the option, should they wish, of not using the platform 
What a great attitude. Believe me, if there were an actual alternative to last.fm a lot of us would have decamped there long ago, rather than fighting a losing battle against people you just don't care to stop the systematic destruction of a website and community that we've held dear for many years.
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Ensor

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@KatyLB
In my own wholly personal opinion, the "other stuff exists" arguments being bandied around are a deflection coming mostly from a minority offended that Nazi artists have been partially no-platformed on this website, as they have been elsewhere.
That's a pretty bold, blanket assumption. And quite an insulting one to boot.

I most certainly do not support so called "Nazi artists", nor do I listen to death metal for that matter (it's just not my thing). I do however believe that more people should keep the following poem in mind as a reminder fro history of what inaction leads to:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The fact that some users genuinely can't see why Nokturnal Mortum would be included over 50 Cent suggests that nothing Last.fm could do to clarify the situation would satisfy those individuals.
The fact that "some users" see no difference between the two and consider them just as objectionable as each other speaks to the lack of intelligence of the people making up the rules.

Hate speech is hate speech, whether it is directed against a religious group like the Jews, attacks against women or simply people who are "different" to the individual spouting the drivel!

There are no "levels" to hate speech. It's either all objectionable, or none of it is. Period.

They therefore have the option, should they wish, of not using the platform 
What a great attitude. Believe me, if there were an actual alternative to last.fm a lot of us would have decamped there long ago, rather than fighting a losing battle against people you just don't care to stop the systematic destruction of a website and community that we've held dear for many years.
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Ensor

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"who just don't care"...stupid forum software which double posts and won't allow edits. :-(
"They therefore have the option, should they wish, of not using the platform if they feel their ability to enjoy their favourite music is crippled by the removal of a few features on a few band's pages. I don't feel there's much more than can be said on the issue and I don't believe any further official statements are planned."

"I think my point there, LWOLF817, is to say that the policy isn't going to be changed"

Well that settles it, what the hell am I doing arguing in here hoping the Buffons over at last.fm will revert this change when (according to Katy) the argument has already been settled. (when was the last time last.fm reverted one of their many "updates" anyway?)

Another think Katy doesn't seem to realize, is that, this debate goes much deeper than just the "enjoy[ment]" and listening of the music. But the stifling of free speech, thought, and expression by the hand of last.fm. Of course, in the eyes of people like Katy, muh "nazis" don't have that right. "[I] (Katy) support no-platforming anyone advocating for that wholeheartedly." Absolutely absurd!

To echo the sentiment of Ensor, it really is quite easy to ignore censorship that doesn't affect you, especially when that thing being censored is so "objectively" evil as Nazism. Some things can only be learnt through experience, and maybe this is one of those things.

In conclusion, I'm taking up Katy's offer of leaving the site. At this point I'm not sure if I'm ready to delete my account for various reasons, but I will certainly be ceasing any further activity here for now, if not forever. And to be frank, I still love this place despite its flaws (and it has many, MANY flaws) but it is like watching a loved one suffer a slow and agonizing death by a rare disease. I want to pull the plug, but I just can't, we've been through so much together, and maybe, just maybe, one day they will pull through and defeat their illness and come back better than ever before. But, we all know deep down that day will never come, and it is only downhill from here.
"They therefore have the option, should they wish, of not using the platform if they feel their ability to enjoy their favourite music is crippled by the removal of a few features on a few band's pages. I don't feel there's much more than can be said on the issue and I don't believe any further official statements are planned."

"I think my point there, LWOLF817, is to say that the policy isn't going to be changed"

Well that settles it, what the hell am I doing arguing in here hoping the Buffons over at last.fm will revert this change when (according to Katy) the argument has already been settled. (when was the last time last.fm reverted one of their many "updates" anyway?)

Another think Katy doesn't seem to realize, is that, this debate goes much deeper than just the "enjoy[ment]" and listening of the music. But the stifling of free speech, thought, and expression by the hand of last.fm. Of course, in the eyes of people like Katy, muh "nazis" don't have that right. "[I] (Katy) support no-platforming anyone advocating for that wholeheartedly." Absolutely absurd!

To echo the sentiment of Ensor, it really is quite easy to ignore censorship that doesn't affect you, especially when that thing being censored is so "objectively" evil as Nazism. Some things can only be learnt through experience, and maybe this is one of those things.

In conclusion, I'm taking up Katy's offer of leaving the site. At this point I'm not sure if I'm ready to delete my account for various reasons, but I will certainly be ceasing any further activity here for now, if not forever. And to be frank, I still love this place despite its flaws (and it has many, MANY flaws) but it is like watching a loved one suffer a slow and agonizing death by a rare disease. I want to pull the plug, but I just can't, we've been through so much together, and maybe, just maybe, one day they will pull through and defeat their illness and come back better than ever before. But, we all know deep down that day will never come, and it is only downhill from here.
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Patrick

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Nokturnal Mortum are ditched because "Wikipedia has info of them being Nazi" while bands like Lostphropets who literally have pedophiles in them get to blossom. Modern world in a nutshell. I got this information from a friend of mine eight hours ago.
(Edited)
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Ensor

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Actually it was the lead singer of said band...and he's been languishing in jail, where he belongs, for a few years now.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Lostprophets' music wouldn't count as hateful content. The update isn't intended to apply to the personal lives of artists, as far as I am aware.
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AnaalForsage

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Is vehemently anti-Christian content considered hateful? What about misogynistic content? Why should, say, X-Raided (the imprisoned gangsta rapper convicted of murder) be allowed to rap about how women should be treated like dogs and pimped out to serve men? How is THAT not promoting hatred? Why is it ok for the Mentors to write songs about bashing homosexuals and raping women? What about Deicide writing songs about killing Christians? The fact of the matter is that if you want to seriously reduce offensive or hurtful material, you're gonna have to purge quite a bit of content from your site. You've just narrowly defined hateful content to mean NS bands, when in reality that's only scratching the surface of musical hate. In the end, you'll have to turn your site into some lame PG-13 community if you actually care about your stated goals. My guess, though, is that you only want to censor a certain subset of users (of which I don't belong to, I just oppose the censorship)
(Edited)
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mc666

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Since all Last.fm actually host is maybe the artwork, I could understand them maybe removing or disallowing a particular artwork or photo which violates their TOS. However, removing the artist completely like they don't exist is tantamount to book burning. You're trying to prevent exchange of ideas & discussion (either for or against) of those ideas. Right now, it's anything nazi related. Tomorrow it could be anything christian, or anything misogynistic. Like preventing free thought & free discussion is going to eliminate these issues. It doesn't, it makes them grow in secrecy

Not to mention, by removing tags, doesn't this affect our stats? Which is probably the only reason to actually "scrobble". It seems to me, they no longer correctly represent your listening habits, since they essentially remove portions of those tags from your stats, while leaving the scrobbles. Meaning they are now blank scrobbles, not assigned to a particular genre for example. Or am I wrong?

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Schander .

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You guys CANNOT be serious?? Artwork is indeed one thing, but this completely out of line. Music = emotion/passion = also hate. About 80% of metal can be regarded as such. Do you guys realize how utterly DISCRIMINATING this actually is? What's next? Banning all political motivated music?
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KatyLB, Moderator

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The update only applies to artwork and shoutboxes, it's still possible to scrobble these artists should you wish to do so.
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Patrick

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It's still possible to scrobble these artists should you wish to do so.

Dou! What is the point? The statistics in your weekly, monthly, and annual charts are going to be blank anyway because the tags for that band don’t exist. Zero chances are that you are going to see them in your top tags, thanks to this “update.”

(Edited)
Oh good, the update only applies to artwork and shoutboxes!

Oh wait, the "similar artists" page to those artists is missing, and I can't search for their music on Itunes / ebay / amazon from last.fm anymore. I can no longer see who else I'm following that listens to that artist, and I can no longer see who the top listeners are. Their bios and other facts about the artist were also removed. Also, artworks and photos with nothing hateful or Nazi about them also get removed as collateral damage, so there's that...

A huge part of Last.FM is the community, and you removed any aspect of that from these artists. Gestapo 666 just released an album not to long ago and I would've liked to see the thoughts of it on their page, but NOPE!

I love feeling ridiculed and ostracized because I listen to a certain genre or artist. What good is enjoying something if you have nobody to enjoy it with?
(Edited)
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Schander .

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Precisely. You might as well just scrobble some blank or even <unknown>  artist now in stead. You guys stripped the site from yet another feature/functionality. As if the big 2015(?) strip-down hadn't done that enough already.

How is this even the only possible solution to your (imagined) problem? I can't see how there wouldn't be some way to, for instance, show such hatefully perceived content to "year-long active/scrobbling/verified/whatever" users, while block it to others... or some similar alternative. This policy is just a plain lazy and indifferent.

Furthermore... as others have already queried, who decides this shit? Why for instance a band like Mortician, but not Cannibal Corpse? Why indeed some ALLEGED right-wing artist, but none on the the extreme left side of the political spectrum? I'm even saying this AS A LEFTY. Why indeed not all the gangster rappers? Because they're so extremely popular? Wouldn't that be EVEN MORE of a reason to do so? As I said, utterly discriminating.

Sorry, but I don't see ANY valid argument for this.
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kvltsition

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Couldn't have said it any better than the above 3 comments. Unfortunately, all these counter-arguments will fall on deaf ears, we'll get no further explanation on what constitutes "hateful content" in their view and they will apply it at their discretion to whichever artist suits them at the time - which'll be NSBM/RAC only.
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kvltsition

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Actually, It's got me thinking now. Bolzer have no NSBM material what-so-ever, but I'm thinking they are banned because the singer has a tattoo of a sunwheel on him? Which, of course would contradict the statement of personal lives of artists not being related to the current wave of censorship on the site.
(Edited)
Not surprised in the slightest. This whole ordeal is just a glorified exercise in hypocrisy, self contradiction, and double standards on the part of Last.fm. Sad really.
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Bogdan Makarov

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Not a single official comment about why they ban nazi because "hateful content" and don't ban gangsta rap about raping, killing, robbing etc. which is also hateful content. They are just hypocrites. They know if they remove a VERY popular page the community will blow up.
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Hermann

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Could you, staff of Last.fm, answer me why this Pagan Metal band was also deleted?

https://www.last.fm/music/Barbarous+Pomerania

How offensive it is to sing just about your ancestrals way of life? They had 1k of listeners! 

I'm just with this website because I love scrobbling, I use it since 2010 - And to be honest, any another plattform that could do the same would be useful, because you just destroyed what had remained of this website. 
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Patrick

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It's just a matter of time before the publishers and their musicians will unite and file a lawsuit against this site. It's also a matter of time when popular websites will start to alarm about what this site is doing. I'm sorry to say this, but that's true. You are digging yourself a grave. I'm not looking for a fight or trying to sound too biased. Please, listen to your user-base, rewrite your policy, and lift expel which you gave to these bands.
(Edited)
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666

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Lastfm is the new Mypace. Look how bad things went for Myspace after that horrible change. RIP Myspace fuck Facebook.
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End_y

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And the Pandora’s box is open wide, finally.
Congrats, "team last.fm". 
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End_y

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My money is ready for anyone who's willing to kicktart a proper site like the pre-CBS last.fm. The one with blackjack, hookers and RAC bands.
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heterodoxies

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Just to reiterate, Mortician is a band that sings about horror movies, and Bolzer are explicitly anti-fascist in their worldview. As soon as an alternative to last.fm appears, I'll be happy to go there.
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Schander .

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If they were to implement this purely INdiscriminately, they'd have no website left. If anti-Christianity is deemed as a valid reason, you guys can scrub about 75% all black metal. Do that, and I'll delete my account for sure.

By the way, you must teach me your infallible ability of judging material to be satirical or non-satirical...
Anti Jewish / Anti Islamic = Banned

Anti Christianity = Okay

Hmmmm...
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AnaalForsage

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Mortician and Pungent Stench are still blacklisted days after they were reported as having been balacklisted erroneously. Death Grips were uncensored almost immediately, why the slow response?
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666

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Are you also planning on banning The Rolling Stones because of their  song Brown Sugar or Slayer for their song Angel of Death based on their lyrics? Some idiot will be offended now.
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Robin Stenerlöv

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Thanks for censoring the pages and album artworks of two of my alltime favorite black metal artists (Nokturnal Mortum and Hate Forest) as well as the swedish nationalistic rock band Ultima Thule (and probably tons of others since I only bothered checking artists on my top 50 list). Very enriching to just see a blank page when looking at all the scrobbles for some of your top artists, yet another fantastic and much needed update that makes this site completely blossom. A nice way of showing how very tolerant you are by censoring art and freedom of expression based on pure subjectivity and shallow clichés. For example, artists who sing about their cultural heritage, history and love for their country (like Ultima Thule, who have no hateful lyrics or content) get banned while rappers who sing about killing cops, killing white people or treating women like dogs get to stay up. Brilliant. I guess we should feel gratitude for you not removing the scrobbles altogether of the artists you've cherry-picked based on your own decision to babysit the website's userbase.

As bad as everything has gone since August 2015, with every new "update" being yet another nail in the coffin, this is the first time ever that I actually consider abandoning Lastfm. I love looking at stats and I love music of a vast variety of genres as well as discussing it with other people, but the website just gets worse and worse by the day. I really wish there would come up a decent alternative to it that was more in line with what this site used to be, then I'd be out the door in a heartbeat.
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Tom Stephen

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I would donate Libre.fm a serious amount of money, if they could at least try to make better alternative to Last.fm. It's really needed to be something similar, because LFM is doing as any monopolist - they just don't care, because they know we won't leave.
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666

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You're wrong dude there are so many people who have left years ago and some who have left since 2015. I have deleted my account because I am not for censorship of any kind and freedom of speech applies to all and not just those leftist crybabies who are offended at everything and anything.
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666

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Music existed before lastfm and will continue to do so. I still buy cds and I will now listen to all my cds with my cd play and radio.
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Ensor

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@666
I have deleted my account because...
I'm not quite there myself yet, but I'm certainly done contributing to the site.

I used to add loads of gigs to the system, upload a lot of album artwork and keep assorted artist wikis updated.

No more. I'll keep scrobbling for now, but that's all!
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solaris18

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It's pointless to contribute, since they can decide they don't like something at a drop of a hat and remove any work you put into the site, so why bother? 
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solaris18

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One of the best parts about this site for a very long time was the community effort behind it. 
I even didn't mind the new layout, the original one was getting messier and messier, and more no doubt more complex to maintain (arguably, again - community's right to have their pages as they saw fit, but I saw some positives in the revamped site all the same). 
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Ensor

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It's pointless to contribute...
Oh, I agree completely.

I actually gave up adding gigs, other than ones I attend, to the site a while ago after they started massively screwing about with venues. Older gigs would regualarly disappear completely or get reassigned to an incorrect venue. I've added hundreds of gigs to the site over the years, some going back to the 1960s, to fill out the picture for bands like The Beatles or Pink Floyd. UTTER waste of time...

As for not uploading album artwork. This has been a long time coming, since at least 2015 they've regularly been nuking artwork that was deemed "too good" leaving just badly scanned, crappy images on the site. I've lost count of the number of my uploads which have vanished with no explanation.

The final straw however was this cretinous decision recently to stop app developers accessing images via the last.fm API (and retrospectively changing the rules). WE UPLOADED THOSE IMAGES IN THE FIRST PLACE! Now they decide we can't have access to our own data? Well fuck you last.fm!

And this censorship crap was the last straw for me with wikis. It was bad enough that they'd disabled wikis for artists with (all too often incorrect) redirects, but now they've decided they'll nuke any artists they don't like, well, screw them. I don't listen to any of the affected artists, but how long before they start hitting industrial metal, aggrotech, industrial artists they've suddenly decided they don't like for some spurious reason?

No, the only thing I'll contibute from now on are my scrobbles...but frankly, listenbrainz is looking pretty tempting right now.
(Edited)
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kvltsition

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I could really go on, but somehow all this doesn't constitute 'hate speech' because it's not the GeNoCiDe. lol. Then you'll claim its all hypothetical lyrics like above, but you'd be living in denial if a lot of the intended audience aren't taking this at face value and enacting even further upon racial divide even further etc... I don't advocate far-right ideology, but Hate speech is hate speech and it comes in all different forms. I'm just pointing out the hypocritical stance Last.fm have taken.

“Kill the white people; we gonna make them hurt; kill the white people; but buy my record first; ha, ha, ha” - Apache

“Niggas in the church say: kill whitey all night long ... the white man is the devil ... the CRIPS and Bloods are soldiers I’m recruiting with no dispute; drive-by shooting on this white genetic mutant" - Menace Clan

“Devils fear this brand new shit ... I bleed them next time I see them ... I pray on these devils ... look what it has come to; who you gonna run to when we get to mobbing ... filling his body up with lead, yah; cracker in my way; slitting, slit his throat; watch his body shake; watch his body shake; that’s how we do it in the motherfucking [San Francisco] Bay ...sitting on the dock of the dirty with my AK” - Paris (88k listeners)

“To all my Universal Soldier’s: stay at attention while I strategize an invasion; the mission be ssassination, snipers hitting Caucasians with semi-automatic shots heard around the world; my plot is to control the globe and hold the world hostage ... see, I got a war plan more deadlier than Hitler" - Killarmy (67k listeners)

“Won’t be satisfied until the devils — I see them all dead ..... the time is half-past death ... it’s the Armageddon... go into the garage; find that old camouflage ... cracker-shooting nightly” - Brand Nubian (225k listeners)

"Respect to Farrakhan, but I’m the jungle-don, the new guerrilla, top-ranked honky killer ... what do blacks do; they just keep on blowing devils away ... evil fucking cracker" - Da Lench Mob (71k listeners) Farrakhan? Really? lol.
"I’m killing them devils because they’re not worthy to walk the earth with the original black man; they must be forgetting; it’s time for Armageddon, and I won’t rest until they’re all dead” - Da Lench Mob

"white man is something I tried to study, but I got my hands bloody, yeah ... I met Farrakhan and had dinner” - Ice Cube (2.5m listeners) The same Farrakhan that advocates Blacks are superior to white people and is also anti-semetic.
"It’s a case of divide and conquer, cuz you let a Jew break up my crew ...... Cuz you can’t be in the Nigga 4 Life crew, with a white Jew tellin you what to do.” - Ice Cube

"I love black women and I hate fucking crackers ...... I’m swelling devils’ melons ... send your asses to Kings County; solo pro-morgue supplier” - Gravediggaz (186k listeners)

"I'll rape your child, They won't make the trial.” - Cam'ron (775k listeners)

"And if you got a daughter older than 15, I'mma rape her, Take her on the living room floor, right there in front of you, Then ask you seriously, what you wanna do?” - DMX (1.5m listeners)

(Edited)
Was hoping somebody would compile a list of lyrics like this, great choices btw. Would LOVE to see last.fm's shills try and defend this one!
Photo of Hale Zimmerman

Hale Zimmerman

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They'll defend it by claiming these rappers were just having fun and messing around with their "hypothetical" threats to murder white people.

I also do feel that there is a big difference between supporting a mass genocide that actually happened and a gangsta rapper bragging about hypothetically shooting people that dislike him.


In the minds of Last.fm's mods, it's okay to threaten violence against white people or even other black people because when rappers do it it's:

a) Pure fantasy, just for laughs! They're just kidding around. They don't really mean it and it's purely a work of fiction, not meant to make anyone feel unsafe or promote the idea of killing white people (which by the way, has never happened before, unlike The Holocaust).

b) The rappers are just defending themselves! They're not aggressors in their lyrics.

hypothetically shooting people that dislike him

No, Katy, your attempts at being disingenuous by intentionally misinterpreting the lyrics is easy to see through. 50 Cent isn't saying he's being violent because someone "dislikes" him, he's advocating being violent against individuals because the warm weather outside justifies it, and because people doubt his devotion to violent acts.

The lyrics posted above by kvltsition contain threats, not to protect themselves, but to murder whites, purely because they are whites. How is that not racist? Because the holocaust happened? Your defense of lyrics that are just as hateful and target a specific group with violence is flimsy. If you were to take the above rap lyrics and substitute 'blacks' or any other racial slur in place of 'whites' or 'honkys', I bet you'd be pretty quick to say you want the artists' profiles erased from the site. So please, explain, how is that not the definition of hypocrisy?

Whites make threatening music? The holocaust happened, so it's scary and their music's existence needs to be purged from the website.

Blacks make threatening music? The holocaust happened, so it's just for laughs and they're just being playful! It's just entertainment, guys!

And again, please don't pretend that history is not rife with violence between different groups of people. I can point you to specific acts of racially motivated violence more recent than the Holocaust, where the victims were whites and the aggressors were not. If 6 million acts of violence are wrong, then why aren't other individual acts of violence and cruelty that have taken place much more recently? You can't have it both ways. 

Either censor EVERYTHING with hateful lyrics or don't, but don't tell us it's okay to make a song about brutally murdering white people because of their skin color and tell us don't have a right to be offended by those lyrics because of German war crimes. 
Photo of kvltsition

kvltsition

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FUCK_CENSORSHIP, yup and that was compiled in 5-7 minutes from 1 or 2 links in a Google search. It really wouldn't be hard to find even more with a thorough look. Apparently some artists mentioned above as well as others are rife with this sort of stuff.
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Bogdan Makarov

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Great compilation. That's exactly what I was trying to say earlier but unfortunately not that familiar around rap music. I can't see how you can make an excuse for such being on the website while nazi stuff stays. Some people "kill" white people, other "kill" jewish people. If Lastfm clarifies that one people deserve life more than the other - then I don't know what to even say.
So, it's either they remove all of it or everything stays.
(Edited)
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666

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Just ask anyone on the left side only white people are racist. lolzzzzz.
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Cornel Diaconu

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A lot of the impression that these rules are simply arbitrary (they DO look like this, when you read all the examples given here) is the fact that the official Terms of Use page is not updated since 2015:
https://www.last.fm/legal/terms
So I wonder: when (if ever) will this page be updated to these recent changes ?

It's obvious that some of the complaints will go away, having the clear rules in our face (even if users won't easily agree with them).

I don't think this is due to members of the staff being currently on vacation, or due to negligence; the feeling is this lack of legal updates is somehow intended (you'd expect that these pages would be kept ruthlessly up-to-date).

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weirditude

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I have stopped my subscription.
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AnaalForsage

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I was actually thinking about subscribing just before this happened in order to support the site, but yeah fuck that
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Bogdan Makarov

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With implementing the new design once again instead of focusing on many other really important improvements like groups, forums and nickname change (which was considered 4 years ago), profile about section, improving the website speed and stability and now this censorship, I can't see myself being any close to be a subscriber.
(Edited)
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weirditude

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And I will report as many hateful tracks as I can. A good few of artists must be banned then. Because music is the weapon as we know.
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last.fm: Ranunculus

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Let's ban the French band Magma for supposedly Nazi views of Christian Vander, it's leader.
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Patrick

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I also have no intention to subscribe.
Photo of last.fm: Ranunculus

last.fm: Ranunculus

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It seems Last.fm stuff has never heard about Streisand effect. Yeah, let's bring more attention to all these NSBM bands than they have before wiping their pages, let's make them "the victims of Jewish-leftist censorship" in eyes of their ideology's supporters, let's turn them into martyrs of War for Free Speech. Well done, Last.fm, lol.
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weirditude

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Month ago I looked at some NSBM bands' photos at last.fm and thought, "What a jerks!"
And now I want to scrobble their tracks!
(Edited)
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Tom Stephen

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I scrobbled whole Nokturnal Mortum's "The Voice of Steel" today, but I still think their reason of ban is more than ridiculous. But yeah, I will come back to their music more than before!
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Patrick

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I find it odd how Mortician and Pungent Stench are still erroneously blacklisted days after they were reported, while Death Grips were uncensored immediately. Why does it take you so long to fix this? Ignoring our issues won’t help you much.
(Edited)
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Bogdan Makarov

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It seems they broke the whole scrobbling while trying to uncensore your bands (sorry I just's couldn't resist haha)
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Patrick

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Ha! Ha! Ha! Well said Bogdan Makarov. Well said.
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weirditude

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I love the last.fm service. I use it almost every day to know about artists and albums. I build it as a web 2.0 project user. I payed money for it. I don't care about design, just content info matters for me.

But this censorship is a removing of existing valid content.

It's unacceptable. The good that deprives me of the right to choose between good and evil is no longer good.

(Edited)
Photo of Schander .

Schander .

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From reading all the comments here, I'd say it's pretty unanimous (at least among all the people here) that we'd like to see all gangster rap gone. Not really, but if we're going to ban stuff, then yes. So, if you are truly doing it for the better of the community, then you know what you'll have to do... but even if we all here start reporting those gangster rappers, it's not going to happen. THAT is what's wrong with this protocol. YOU ARE NOT DOING ANY OF THIS TO "PROTECT" ANY OF US. IT'S COMPLETE AND UTTER HORSESHITE. If anything, you're giving people yet another reason to become anti-semitic or homophobic, purely out of spite. WHY CAN'T YOU FREAKIN' SEE THIS. CENSORSHIP NEVER WORKS!
"From reading all the comments here, I'd say it's pretty unanimous (at least among all the people here)"

I'd just like to remind everyone that the "official" statement last.fm gave on this issue amassed a grand total of THREE likes (atleast at the time this comment was posted) which is a third as much as many of the comments in opposition to the "update".

Just something to think about.
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Benecia

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the fact that they're now just blatantly ignoring it all, just goes to show how much they care about the users nowadays in general

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Ensor

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It's been like that since the last of the people who created last.fm in the first place left, so best part of a decade.

Can't see things ever improving. :-(
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weirditude

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Recommendations system has been constantly improving. It's the one and only thing to lose.
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Bogdan Makarov

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"the last of the people who created last.fm in the first place left" wow really?! I never knew about that! If that's true, then it all makes sense. Same happened with social network VK, when Pavel Durov left, it all went downhill since then.
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Ensor

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Yeah, as I understand it the last three of the original five founders left the company during the summer of 2009.

It's little wonder the site now has no clear direction and has been slowly falling apart ever since. :-(
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AnaalForsage

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Oh they have a direction. The goal with the 2015 site overhaul was to turn last.fm into a hip mobile-friendly social media site to attract young people who are scared off  from anything resembling a more traditional forum. At this point I'm amazed they don't just launch an app given how hard they're pursuing this demographic. I honestly would not be surprised at all if they decided that they were only going to accept scrobbles from Spotify and Apple Music as the next big update, since kids these days don't download music/use stuff like Foobar.
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Ensor

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@AnaalForsage
Oh they have a direction.
I really don't think they do, they just lurch from one ill concieved idea to another.

The godawful 2015 update did make the site more mobile friendly, but removed practically all of the social media type stuff like discussion boards, journals etc. This latest UI refresh, despite on the surface looking more mobile friendly, isn't.

Prior to the latest update, pages would detect that they were running on a reduced size screen (mobile/tablet/small browser window) and adapt themselves by changing their layout/format appropriately. These new pages don't, they're the same whatever you view them on.

They just seem to be making changes for the sake of it, without thinking it through first.

I honestly would not be surprised at all if they decided that they were only going to accept scrobbles from Spotify and Apple Music as the next big update...
It would certainly save them from having to the trouble of providing and maintaining scrobbler plugins for various media players.

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