Oversight Board tells Meta to stop complying with police requests to censor rap music

Meta’s Oversight Board said that Meta should not have complied with a request from London’s Metropolitan Police to ban a drill music track. Drill music is a rap genre that politicians and law enforcement agencies have associated with gang violence.

In January, rapper Chinx (OS) posted a video of his song “Secrets Not Safe.” Shortly after posting the song on Instagram, Meta received an email from the police requesting the removal of the song. Meta escalated the case to a team for special consideration, and ruled that it violated its policies because it referenced a shooting that took place in 2017 and included what police believed to be a “threatening call to action.”

After the song was removed, Chinx appealed and had it reinstated by a moderator who was not part of the special consideration team. The decision was overruled and the song got banned again after a week, again following a request by the police.

The board questioned whether Meta considered the context, or simply compiled because it was a request from the police.

“Not every piece of content that law enforcement would prefer to have taken down — and not even every piece of content that has the potential to lead to escalating violence — should be taken down,” the board wrote in its decision.

Social media platforms are less transparent about informal requests like the email from the Met.

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“Here’s to my sweet Satan. I sing because I live with Satan. He will give those with him 666. There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.”

 These are the disturbing words which appear when the 1971 Led Zeppelin masterpiece “Stairway to Heaven” is played in reverse – or so it is widely claimed. In the 1970s and 80s, a moral panic spread among American Evangelical groups about rock bands hiding satanic and other subversive messages in their music. These messages, they claimed, were subliminally inserted by recording them backwards, a technique known as back masking. This panic reached such hysterical heights that churches across the United States held record smashing and burnings, several bands found themselves in court over corrupting lyrics, and the legend of backwards satanic messages became an indelible part of music culture. But did any artists actually hide backwards messages in their music? Well, yes, but not for the reasons their Evangelical critics believed.

The practice of back masking is as old as sound recording itself. Shortly after patenting the phonograph in 1877, Thomas Edison experimented with playing recorded music backwards, noting that the result sounded “novel and sweet but altogether different.” The first association between back masking and satanism came in 1913, when British occultist Aleister Crowley, in his treatise Magick: Book 4, recommended that those interested in black magic listen to phonographic records in reverse in order to learn how to think and speak backwards. Coincidentally, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page would later purchase Crowley’s former mansion, giving plenty of ammunition to the evangelical satanic panic crowd. Over the following decades, avant-garde composers like John Cage and Edgard Varèse experimented with reversed recordings to create bold new soundscapes, a technique which was later adopted by various rock ‘n’ roll groups starting in the 1960s – including the Beatles. According to John Lennon, after coming home from a party in 1966, he accidentally played a take of the song “Rain” backwards. Lennon, a fan of avant-garde music, was so enamoured by the sound that he included a reversed version of the song’s opening line in the fadeout. This is widely considered the first use of back masking in a pop song. The technique was also heavily featured in the song “Tomorrow Never Knows” from the band’s 1966 album Revolver, as well as throughout 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

 Unfortunately for the Fab Four, this experimentation would lead to the first great back masking controversy, as the technique formed a cornerstone of the infamous “Paul is Dead” urban legend. For the uninitiated, “Paul is Dead” was a popular conspiracy theory started in 1967 which held that Paul McCartney had in fact died in a car crash on November 9, 1966, and was subsequently replaced with an impostor. The theory further held that the remaining Beatles attempted to reveal Paul’s fate by planting subtle clues in their songs and album covers. Among these supposed clues are the lyric“the walrus was Paul” from the 1968 song “Glass Onion” and the cover of 1969’s Abbey Road, on which Paul is barefoot and walking out of step with the rest of the band. But the most definitive clues, the theorists claimed, were revealed by playing Beatles records backwards – particularly the 1968 White Album. For example, “Revolution 9” supposedly contains the message “turn me on, dead man,” while “I’m so Tired” yields “Paul is dead. Miss him, miss him.” Of course, the entire “Paul is Dead” rumour is complete nonsense, and while the Beatles did pioneer the use of back masking, none of the aforementioned examples were intentional uses of the technique. Rather, these supposed “secret messages” are merely cases of pareidolia – the tendency of the human brain to perceive patterns in otherwise random data. Other famous examples pareidolia include the “face” on the surface of Mars seen by the Viking 1 spacecraft in 1976, the face of the Devil seen in the smoke billowing from the World Trade Centre on 9/11, and the endless reports of Jesus and the Virgin Mary appearing on slices of toast and other objects. Research has also shown the strong influence of the observer-expectancy effect, as few listeners will perceive the supposed hidden messages unless they have already been primed to do so. Nonetheless, the fact that the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and other musicians did intentionally use back masking for fun or artistic effect was enough to convince moral guardians that the technique could also be used for nefarious purposes.

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New York Times Thought Police Ask: Should Classic Rock Songs Be Toppled Like Confederate Statues?

Hide your classic rock LP’s. The thought police at the New York Times are coming for them.

The New York Times opinion section has run a column advocating for classic rock songs like Don McLean’s “American Pie” to be reconsidered and maybe even “toppled” like historic Confederate statues, arguing that reevaluating beloved songs will help create a world that is “inclusive and more just.”

Other rock singers ripe for cancellation include Eric Clapton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and even Elvis Presley.

Jennifer Finney Boylan, who is a male-to-female transgender, laid out the case in the op-ed titled “Should Classic Rock Songs Be Toppled Like Confederate Statues?

“As we take another look at the sins of our historical figures, we’ve also had to take a hard look at our more immediate past and present, including the behavior of the creators of pop culture,” Boylan wrote. “That reassessment extends now to the people who wrote some of our best-loved songs.”

Chief among the candidates for cancellation is “American Pie,” the 1971 classic song by Don McLean. Boylan cited past allegations of domestic violence made against McLean as justification for the song’s cancellation.

“I want to live in a world where I can be moved by art and music and literature without having to come up with elaborate apologies for that work or for its creators,” the columnist wrote.

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Alanis Morissette Admits Music Industry Is Run by Elite Pedophiles: ‘They’re ALL Child Rapists’

Singer Alanis Morissette has blown the whistle on how the music industry is literally “run by pedophiles” in an explosive new video.

In a documentary called ‘Jagged,’ which premieres Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival, 47-year-old Morissette claims that the entertainment industry is run by elite pedophiles who routinely rape and abuse children.

According to Morissette, she was forced to have sex with multiple men in the entertainment industry when she was just a teenager.

“It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part,” Morissette said. “I would always say I was consenting, and then I’d be reminded like ‘Hey, you were 15, you’re not consenting at 15.’ Now I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re all pedophiles. It’s all statutory rape.”

Yahoo News reports:According to the Post, Morissette doesn’t name the alleged abusers in the film, but she faults the music industry for ignoring her when she tried to speak up. “I did tell a few people and it kind of fell on deaf ears,” she said. “It would usually be a stand-up, walk-out-of-the-room moment.” She also reportedly says that she frequently experienced unwanted sexual advances.

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Taliban Ban Music and Then Execute Leading Afghan Folk Singer

Roughly 50 years ago, Don McLean released his son song, “American Pie” with its famous line about “The Day the Music Died.” It was a reference to when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson died along with pilot Roger Peterson in an airplane crash. For Afghans, the day the music died coincided with the Taliban takeover of their country. Nothing drove home that fact than the horrific killing of Afghan folk singer Fawad Andarabi, who was executed by the Taliban for playing music.

The singer’s son said that the Taliban came to their farm and shot his father in the head. They targeted him because of his fame for playing the ghichak (above), a bowed lute, and preserving the traditional songs about his country.

While the Taliban told the media it would investigate, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid emphasized that “Music is forbidden in Islam.” Just days before, he announced to the media that music was banned. It was one of the first things the Taliban did after retaking power.  Music was also banned under Taliban rule from 1996 until 2001.

You can see one of the last folk sons of Andarabi here as he sings of “our beautiful valley.”

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Cleveland Man Denied Concealed Carry Permit Because of Music Video

This one should make any 2nd Amendment supporter angry. An Ohio man was denied when he tried to renew his concealed carry permit.

Lamont Gist attempted to renew his permit just outside of Cleveland at a sheriff’s office. When the staff told him he was being rejected, he began recording the conversation because he felt the denial was unfair.

“I got my social; I got both my IDs right here, how can you not establish my identity? You’re not explaining to me why,” he said.

Gist told Cleveland 19 that he “originally got his CCW in 2016 after a man robbed and shot him near St. Clair and East 112th street.”

“I just know I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and luckily I made it out alive,” he said, noting that he still has one of the bullets in his body.

”I never carried a gun before I got shot,” Gist said. “The CCW is for my protection and nothing else. I’m not out here being a violent person.”

The deputies denied his renewal because he appeared in a rap video with his brother. One of the officials held up a picture from the video, which was uploaded to YouTube in 2018.

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University of Oxford considers scrapping sheet music for being ‘too colonial’ after staff raise concerns about music curriculums’ ‘complicity in white supremacy’ after Black Lives Matter movement

The University of Oxford is considering scrapping sheet music for being ‘too colonial’ after staff raised concerns about the ‘complicity in white supremacy’ in music curriculums.

Professors are set to reform their music courses to move away from the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

University staff have argued that the current curriculum focuses on ‘white European music from the slave period’, according to The Telegraph.  

Documents seen by the publication indicate proposed reforms to target undergraduate courses.

It claimed that teaching musical notation had ‘not shaken off its connection to its colonial past’ and would be ‘a slap in the face’ to some students.

And it added that musical skills should no longer be compulsory because the current repertoire’s focus on ‘white European music’ causes ‘students of colour great distress’. 

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Spotify censors art for “misinformation,” pulls Ian Brown’s anti-lockdown track

Spotify has removed an anti-lockdown song by Ian Brown, the former lead vocalist of English rock band The Stone Roses. The music streaming service claims the song violated its policies against COVID-19 misinformation.

Brown released the anti-lockdown song “Little Seed Big Tree” last September. “NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX,” he tweeted while launching the song.

On March 12, Brown took to Twitter to announce that Spotify had removed his song.

“SPOTiFY stream the streams and censor artists like they have with my last song TOOK IT DOWN just put it down the memory hole! FREE EXPRESSiON AS REVOLUTION,” he wrote.

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