Spotify Halts Hateful Conduct Policy That Banned R Kelly:
Music streaming company Spotify has abruptly ended its policy to stop promoting artists like R. Kelly who have sometime been accused of “hateful conduct” following huge public backlash. The change, announced Friday, comes less than a month after the music streaming service implemented the policy.
“While we believe our intentions were good, the language was too vague, we created confusion and concern, and didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines”, Spotify said in a statement.
Spotify introduced the Hate Content and Hateful Conduct policy in May in an effort to remove anything that promotes or advocates for “hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”
Although Spotify will still remove any content on its platform that promotes hate speech or violence, it is pulling away from making judgments about specific artist conduct.
At a recent conference, the company’s CEO Daniel Ek admitted they made some mistakes in introducing the policy. “We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” Ek said.
He added: “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech. It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist.”
Under the policy, Spotify removed music by R. Kelly from its playlists and algorithmic recommendations and pledged to stop actively promoting his work. The R&B singer, who was acquitted on child pornography charges in 2008, currently faces several allegations of sexual abuse from women, including some who have accused him holding them in a “sex cult.”
He however denies any wrongdoing.