Spotify remove ‘hate conduct’ policy following backlash

Spotify app on a phoneImage copyrightGetty Images

Spotify has backtracked on the policy that removed R Kelly’s music from their playlists.

In a statement released on Friday, the streaming service said it had created “confusion and concern”.

The “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy was introduced in May.

Spotify remove ‘hate conduct’ policy following backlash
Spotify remove ‘hate conduct’ policy following backlash

It had proven controversial since its introduction, with Kendrick Lamar’s record label threatening to remove music.

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Image caption R Kelly’s music was removed from promoted playlists due to sexual assault allegations which he denies

On Wednesday Spotify CEO Daniel Ek admitted it “could have done a much better job”.

Friday’s statement, which can be read in full here, clarified their position, explaining the policy had two distinct parts.

The first, relating to the decision to remove artists from playlists if they were involved in “controversies”, has now been reversed.

“We created concern that allegations might affect artists’ chances of landing on a Spotify playlist and negatively impact their future,” the statement explains.

“Some artists even worried that mistakes made in their youth would be used against them. That’s not what Spotify is about.”

The second part focused on hate content, described as content whose principal purpose is to incite hatred or violence.

Spotify says this policy will remain but they clarified that “offensive, explicit, or vulgar content” don’t violate the terms.

Anthony Tiffith, the CEO of record label Top Dawg Entertainment, home to Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Schoolboy Q had threatened to remove music if changes weren’t made.

Speaking to Billboard, he confirmed he had spoken with Daniel Ek and Spotify’s head of artist relations Troy Carter.

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Image caption Kendrick Lamar’s label, Top Dawg Entertainment, threatened to remove music from Spotify over the policy

“I expressed how I felt about it, about censorship, how you can’t do artists that way.”

Tiffith explained his issue regarding how the specific artists were chosen.

“How come they didn’t pick out any others from any other genres? It seems to me that they’re constantly picking on hip-hop culture.

“My whole thing with them was, we gotta fix this situation, and if it can’t be fixed, then there’s gonna be a real problem, we’re gonna have to start pulling our music from the site.”

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