This new policy on “hate material and vile behaviour” has been revealed by Spotify. As a result of this decision, Spotify will no longer provide specific tracks or albums, and it will also have an impact on some artists. So far, R. Kelly is the only one who’s been harmed.
Spotify’s New Policies on Hate
Spotify’s new policy relates to hate content and hateful conduct. Spotify defines hate material as “explicitly and primarily advocating, promoting, or inciting hatred or violence against a group or person.” Thus, songs labelled racist or sexist, and so forth.
In theory, Spotify’s new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy is nice, but if you’re going to hold 1 or 2 artists accountable, you have to do the same with every artist.
— ronald isley (@yoyotrav) May 10, 2018
The term “hateful conduct” refers to an artist’s behaviour outside of the recording studio. Thus, if a pop celebrity is determined to have engaged in “violence against minors and sexual violence,” as Spotify puts it, the streaming service may opt to discontinue supporting that artist.
R. Kelly Has Already Been Demoted
Spotify seems to have already implemented its rules against R. Kelly. The singer/songwriter best known for I Believe I Can Fly has been effectively pushed off of Spotify, with the platform opting not to promote him or his songs.
Spotify has not imposed a restriction on R. Kelly. Therefore, if you search for him on Spotify, you may still listen to his music. Spotify, on the other hand, has deleted R. Kelly’s songs from its curated playlists and will no longer actively promote him on the platform.
A Slippery Slope Towards Censorship
Spotify has the freedom to promote (and, conversely, refuse to promote) any artist it wishes. It should be emphasised, however, that although R. Kelly has been charged with several misdemeanours throughout the years, he has never been convicted of any misconduct.
Spotify may come to regret this, regardless of the merits of specific instances. The corporation may have maintained its policy of not passing judgement on a performer based on non-musical matters. Rather than that, Spotify will now pass moral judgement on individuals.
This seems to be a precarious situation. At the moment, the policy is to discontinue promoting artists that do not adhere to Spotify’s standards. Which is reasonable. However, this strategy may grow into something altogether different in the future. And Spotify will be accused of censorship as a result.