Spotify Walks Back Controversial Artist-Conduct Policy

Spotify has backed off its controversial artist-conduct policy after critics argued that its decision to ban artists like XXXTentacion and R. Kelly was too arbitrary. The original policy had two parts: removing artists like XXXTentacion, who were embroiled in “rare cases of the most extreme controversies,” and banning content that included hate speech. Responding to criticism of the first part of the policy, the company wrote that “as some have pointed out, this language was vague and left too many elements open to interpretation,” and indicated that it would back away from this point. It then reaffirmed a commitment to censoring hate content, pledging once again to remove material that “incite[s] hatred or violence against people because of their race, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”