Spotify officially announced they will roll back a controversial policy to block hateful content and hateful conduct from artists. The streaming giant’s policy around artist conduct caught many by surprise and drew criticism from for being too vague. The company also felt they did not receive input from their “own team and key partners” before sharing the policy.
“We don’t aim to play judge and jury. We aim to connect artists and fans,” admits the company in a news release. “Our playlist editors are deeply rooted in their respective cultures, and their decisions focus on what music will positively resonate with their listeners . . . Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists.”
The company’s reversal of the policy also changed their stance on some artists allowed on the streaming service. R. Kelly has accusations of multiple sexual assaults, meanwhile XXXTenacion stands accused of beating his ex-girlfriend, but now both are no longer banned from Spotify. Bloomberg reports the actions received critiscm by many as being racially motivated.
Pitchfork reports that several weeks prior to Spotify’s R. Kelly announcement, Apple Music stopped promoting him in playlists. Meanwhile, Pandora admits to Blast that their policy changes have been in the works for months. Their decision is based on a case-by-case basis to avoid overreaching. Many of these policies may be adaptations to the #MeToo movement.
Spotify went on to admit that they don’t support any content meant to incite hatred or discriminatory violence. It remains industry standard too. This stance is independent from their approach to explicit content. Their policy aims to remove content censors, but also allow listeners “an experience free of explicit content if they so choose.”
Their solution is to have content providers mark any songs that are explicit, so users may filter it if necessary. The service doesn’t have parental controls, something that irks some users. An online petition currently exists to allow family plan users to differentiate between their children’s listening experience from their own more easily.
While there still remains no function specifically for parents, the platform aims to create a welcoming space for all. Users may contact the company if they find any content that violates their policies regarding hateful or explicit content. They remain committed to removing any content that violates their policies and are always looking for new ways to detect it.
What do you think of Spotify’s policy changes? Share your thoughts in the comments!