Spotify says it has removed R. Kelly from its algorithmic playlists and editorial under the terms of a new policy against public hate content and hateful conduct.
Billboard reports that “the company will no longer promote the R&B singer’s music in any way, removing his songs from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre- or mood-based playlists.”
— R. Kelly (@rkelly) April 18, 2018
R. Kelly has been accused of sexual violence against women and of running a “sex cult.”
Spotify’s new policy was created in consultation with The Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, Color Of Change, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), GLAAD, Muslim Advocates and the International Network Against Cyber Hate, Billboard adds:
“Hate content is content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability,” the policy reads. “When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or manually programming it on our service.”
The company acknowledges that, with more than 35 million tracks on its service, it cannot police everything, and has introduced a three-pronged reporting system for hate content or hateful conduct, including internal monitoring from its teams already in place; consultations with expert partners, such as the advocacy groups it worked with to develop the policy; and user comments and reports. The company also says it has created a monitoring tool called Spotify AudioWatch to help it screen for and flag hate content.