Over the course of the early days of the month, Spotify made an announcement that it would be bringing out a new policy on “Hate Content and Hateful Conduct.” This policy was not entirely clarified by the company except for the part that the policy will give the company the right to remove playlists when it wishes to (of course the artists it will be removing are those who use hate speeches in their songs and those who are involved in unaccepted sexual behaviour). R. Kelly for example who has been accused of sexual misconduct multiple times would be affected by the policy. The PR of the company wrote a statement in light of this, “When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or playlisting it on our service.” However, according to the reports reaching us from our sources, the streaming giant has resolved to not implement the policy. This therefore means that rappers like XXXTentacion’s music will be returned to playlists even though he was charged of battering a pregnant woman.
One major reason for this step backwards was as a result of the wide range of the company’s content which appeared to have made a room for the company to control the personal lives and behaviour of artists. In the statement by the PR, he said, “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. 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.” As reported by our sources, this made some label executives wonder “why the two acts singled out are black, while plenty of white men with histories of violence were unscathed.” Although R. Kelly will still be banned from Spotify’s list even though his exclusion sort of increased his streaming numbers.
Although Spotify’s intentions were of good, the implications are really tough, and with a huge company such as it is, good motives are sometimes not enough.