Spotify is taking an unprecedented stand, and they’re starting with R. Kelly.
In a statement to Billboard, Spotify revealed:
“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it.”
Sounds like they’re following the lead of Time’s Up, who are pushing to #MuteRKelly after his numerous accusations of sexual abuse of young women.
But this isn’t just about R. Kelly.
It’s all part of the the new “Hate Content and Hateful Conduct” policy announced on Thursday in which Spotify may remove or stop promotion of content that “incites hatred or violence” based on “race, religion, gender identity,” etc.
It sounds like unlike Twitter, they’re trying to get rid of the Nazis.
But the “hateful conduct” part is trickier. As they explain it in their announcement:
“We’ve also thought long and hard about how to handle content that is not hate content itself, but is principally made by artists or other creators who have demonstrated hateful conduct personally…
While we don’t believe in censoring content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”
Apparently R. Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion, who faced charges of battery against a pregnant woman late last year, were the first to be muted in this way.
Kelly’s management team responded with a statement to The New York Times, saying Spotify’s decision to give into an “ongoing smear campaign” was “unfortunate and shortsighted”:
“Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations. It is bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers.”
XXXTentacion’s team sent a more pointed, thought-provoking response:
Spotify responded to the Times reporter that they would be looking at each artist on a “case by case basis.”
What do YOU think of Spotify’s decision??
[Image via JLN Photography/WENN.]