Weeks after being applauded by #MeToo advocates for refusing to promote artists such as R. Kelly for “hateful conduct,” Spotify is now reversing their new policy.
In a statement, the music streaming giant said that they didn’t put enough thought in the policy, despite their good intentions.
“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.”
They added: “Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.”
As we previously reported, in May Spotify removed R. Kelly’s music from their popular editorial or algorithm playlists as part of their new public hate content and hateful content policy. Several of the platform’s most popular playlists including RapCaviar, Discover Weekly and New Music Friday.
Spotify also punished XXXTentacion by removing his music from playlists according to the new policy. The young rapper faces charges in Florida including aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.
Now, there’s one thing to know about Spotify walking back their policy: R. Kelly’s music still won’t be promoted, but XXXTentacion’s will, the New York Times noted.
But for Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of women’s advocacy Ultraviolet, Spotify’s reversal is still “shameful” and “disheartening.”
“There is no consequence for abusing women and they’re just affirming that in a really straightforward way,” she said. “They’ve decided that their bottom line is important.”
She added, “Women weren’t asking Spotify to play judge and jury. We were just asking the company to stop promoting artists that have a documented history of physical and sexual abuse.”
No word if Apple Music or Pandora, who both instituted similar policies, will walk theirs back as well.
Beauties: What do you think about Spotify rescinding their policy?