Spotify’s Mixed Bag of Censorship
Last year the #metoo campaign swept the film industry. Finally, after decades of terror, predator after predator was held accountable. Last week Spotify brought the fight to the music industry with its new “Hate Content and Hateful Conduct Policy.” Banning hateful content is nothing new, but what’s new is punishing creators for ‘Hateful Conduct.’ To christen this precarious decision, Spotify removed R Kelly and XXXTentacion from it’s playlists with a few strokes of their corporate keys.
So, what exactly does that mean for both Spotify and the artists? On Spotify’s end it means they’ve entered into risky territory. They’ve thrown their two cents into the age old debate about separating the art from the artist, and have done so in a particularly subjective manner. They’re teetering on the brink of censorship. R Kelly has never been convicted of a crime. While he has been party to a growing number of scandals, no court of law has found him guilty. This is a position shared by many musicians in both the urban and the pop space.