HÖR Berlin allegedly shuts off set by DJ wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Palestine’ written in Arabic

HÖR has since responded to criticism online, and says it is looking into training its content moderation team with clear guidelines.

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HÖR, an online music platform and event space in Berlin, reportedly cut off two DJs mid-set on 3 November. Allegedly, it was due to wearing items of clothing that showed support for Palestine amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

DJ Sam Clarke says his performance was cut short due to a shirt he was wearing at the time. He has since shared a post to Instagram stories displaying the shirt where he wrote, “So HÖR stopped my set because they didn’t know what my shirt says? It says Palestine.”

In another post shared by Clarke, he states that he played 20 minutes of his set before an attendant said that their bosses had instructed them to stop the set because they had noticed the shirt and wanted to ensure it did not say anything “inflammatory.”

“They told me that I could have a conversation with them about the shirt’s meaning and start my set over again, or cancel altogether. The shirt says Palestine. It’s interesting to me that they wouldn’t know that as they are Israeli,” says Clarke. “Seems basic. Ultimately I decided that I wasn’t interested in the conversation and didn’t want to start my set over again.”

Artist Téa, also shared she was stopped mid-set due to a scarf she was wearing: “Just to reference @cirkelineee’s post earlier, this was the scarf that I was wearing and have been wearing all day. They said the scarf was fine and the flag would be fine too but the map is too controversial, which I don’t really understand why? Isn’t that what this whole thing is about?”

HÖR has since sent out a statement, as shared on X by nextdimensional, which reads: “We have been appalled by the events that have taken place in Palestine and Israel. Our hearts have been broken for all the innocent victims.

“We hope for an immediate end to the violence and relief for the Palestinian people from this humanitarian crisis, as well as for the safe return of all the Israeli hostages. We wholeheartedly support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and freedom,” it states.

“We take our responsibility to create a safe space where artists can share their responses to the devastating events seriously. We have seen many artists using our platform to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people by wearing shirts, scarves and flags. We believe in freedom of expression, and we have not, and will not, censor flags or peaceful slogans. However, there are symbols that, for some audiences, are controversial, which we will not allow.”

It continues to explain, “On Friday, we had the first two incidents where individuals wanted to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people, but our content moderation team felt that their items of clothing could be perceived as offensive and calling for the eradication of Israel.

“In one instance, an artist wore a scarf with the phrase ‘the land is ours’ written in Arabic, while in another instance, another artist wore a shirt featuring the Palestinian flag superimposed over the map of Israel. It is never our intention to upset any of our artists, but keeping our platform as a respectful space is very important to us.”

Further in the statement, HÖR states that it has “taken on board feedback” and is looking into training its content moderation team to ensure it has “clear guidelines for our team and artists to follow.”

You can read the full statement below:


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