After receiving backlash from industry executives such as Kendrick Lamar’s record label, Spotify has officially backtracked their recent hateful conduct policy.
Spotify announced at the beginning of June that the company is dropping the plan to ban artists who engage in hate conduct. However, the company plans to keep the ban against hate content in place. “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 our new guidelines,” the company said in a new statement released on their blog in early June.
In May, the Swedish streaming platform introduced a policy for “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct.” The policy permits the removal of hate content or refraining from promotion of such content, defined by the company as “content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics.”
“We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions—what we choose to program—to reflect our values,” says the online statement on the new policy. As a result of the policy’s initiation, artists XXXTENTACION and R. Kelly faced removal of promotion of their music from the streaming giant. Although R. Kelly’s music does not necessarily entail hateful messages by the rules of the policy, the company chooses not to support the negative behaviors associated with an artist.
While speaking at the Code Conference on Wednesday night, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek admitted Spotify rolled out the policy wrong and “could’ve done a better job.” Moving forward, the company plans to continue collaborations with artists, as well as the music community. In their most recent statement, Spotify says, “We will continue to seek ways to impact the greater good and further the industry we all care so much about. We believe Spotify has an opportunity to help push the broader music community forward through conversation, collaboration, and action. We’re committed to working across the artist and advocacy communities to help achieve that.”
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Spotify Backtracks New Hateful Content Policy: Featured Image Credit: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images/Spotify