Spotify removes hate content policy: “the language was too vague”
In May, Spotify posted a new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy, and in conjunction with rolling out the new policy, they stopped promoting R. Kelly and XXXTentacion's music on their editorial and algorithmic playlists. This stirred up some controversy, which first caused Spotify to restore XXXTentacion's music to their playlists, and today they have removed the policy. They issued a statement that reads in part:
Spotify recently shared a new policy around hate content and conduct. And 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.
It’s important to note that our policy had two parts. The first was related to promotional decisions in the rare cases of the most extreme artist controversies. As some have pointed out, this language was vague and left too many elements open to interpretation. We created concern that an allegation might affect artists’ chances of landing on a Spotify playlist and negatively impact their future. Some artists even worried that mistakes made in their youth would be used against them.
That’s not what Spotify is about. We don’t aim to play judge and jury. We aim to connect artists and fans – and Spotify playlists are a big part of how we do that. Our playlist editors are deeply rooted in their respective cultures, and their decisions focus on what music will positively resonate with their listeners. That can vary greatly from culture to culture, and playlist to playlist. Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.
You can read the rest here.
This comes just days after Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said on stage at the Code Conference in a keynote Q&A that Spotify "rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job." Ek took personal responsibility, and also 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."