Spotify has announced a new policy on “hate content and hateful conduct”, resulting in artists like R Kelly being banned from its playlists.
I have a simple rule for whether I will consume art created by an abusive man. If the art justifies or condones the abuse in any way, it’s off limits – so I can watch Roman Polanski’s The Pianist, whereas my stomach turns at Louis CK’s I Love You, Daddy. Polanski’s 2002 Holocaust drama features no allusion to – or justification of – his 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl. Comedian CK’s 2017 film, on the other hand, explores and condones the sexualisation of a young woman by lecherous, powerful men – it is grossly similar to accusations the star himself has faced and admitted to.
There are big, gaping holes in my simple rule, and you might already find yourself shaking your head and/or picking up your letter-writing pen. But that’s OK – because this is my rule, and I’m not imposing it on anyone. The same can’t be said for Spotify, the music-streaming company that has announced a new policy on “Hate Content and Hateful Conduct” which resulted in artists R Kelly and XXXTentacion being banned from its playlists. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator,” read the policy. Over the past 25 years, R Kelly has faced multiple allegations of sexually abusing minors, while XXXTentacion is facing charges for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.
To be clear, both artists’ music is still available on Spotify, but the service has removed their music from its curated playlists and “algorithmic recommendations”: meaning it won’t be promoted to new listeners. Despite …read more
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