Skip to main content

Spotify admits fault, will work with civil rights groups on Hate Content policy

It was only days ago that Spotify made waves in the entertainment industry by removing R. Kelly, Tay-K, and XXXTentacion from its curated and algorithmic playlists on the back of its newly minted Hate Content & Hateful Conduct Policy.

Following some serious backlash from Spotify employees, music writers, and artists — including Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar — regarding the policy’s ill-defined rules of enforcement and its rushed, haphazard implementation, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek admitted fault and revealed that the streaming giant is currently at work on a new version of the policy, aided by civil rights activists.

“We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” Ek said yesterday at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes. Ek called the policy “vague” and said that Spotify never intended to serve “as the morality police” regarding artists’ behavior and lyrical content. Apparently, Spotify previously worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center, LGBTQ alliance organization GLAAD, and the Anti-Defamation League to craft the Hate Policy, but that didn’t stop them from sanctioning XXXTentacion — real name Jahseh Onfroy — whose music was recently reinstated on Spotify playlists after well-documented outcries from Lamar and others.

Criticisms of the policy largely cited Spotify’s decision to act as judge and jury and questions of racism arose after the service removed young black artists like Onfroy and Tay-K while ignoring droves of white artists — examples include Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne — with similar criminal backgrounds.

Kelly — currently under investigation for a lengthy list of serious allegations — has not seen his place in Spotify playlists restored, and in fact, other services like Apple Music and Pandora have also taken steps to reduce Kelly’s visibility on their platforms.

Hilary Rosen, former head of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), reportedly reached out to Ek, encouraging him to stick to his guns: “When you [sanctioned Kelly, et al] you continued Spotify being a little ahead of the industry … I wonder if, now that you’ve backtracked on that, whether you’ve lost that moral authority.”

Ek responded with “That’s obviously for other people to judge at the end of the day.”

Editors' Recommendations

Nick Hastings
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick is a Portland native and a graduate of Saint Mary's College of California with a Bachelor's of Communication. Nick's…
How to convert your vinyl to a digital format
Rebirth of cool: Is vinyl ready for a second wind, or just a fad?

It doesn't matter one bit if your vinyl collection consists of just a single milk crate or if it fills several Ikea Kallax shelves and is slowly taking over your home — we can all agree that there's just something about vinyl.

Maybe it's the warm, uncompressed sound spinning off a solid turntable, or the feel of holding a physical piece of art in your hands while the record spins — it's a special experience that has regained much of its glory in a world dominated by digital streaming. The problem is, records are fragile, and crates full of them don't fit in your back pocket.

Read more
How to find your lost AirPods using the Find My app
A pair of blue AirPods Max sitting on a table.

Apple's AirPods provide durable, true wireless sound for your music, podcasts, movies, TV, and more, but they’re also tiny sticks that sit in your ears -- which means they're easy to lose, and accidents can happen. You may know the feeling of leaving your AirPods behind or reaching up and suddenly realizing you only have one AirPod left in your ear -- oh, the horror!

The good news is, Apple's Find My service is designed just for these situations and can help you locate your lost AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max from an iPhone, iPad, or on your computer, pinpointing their location on a map and even allowing you to trigger a sound to help you find them. There's also a Lost Mode, notification options so you won't forget your AirPods, and more. Here's how it all works.

Read more
How to add music to your iPhone or iPad
mqa universal music group deal hi res audio man and woman listening to

If you're anything like us, you love your music, and you want to be able to enjoy it anywhere, on any device. Downloading your music collection onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch gives you access to your music pretty much everywhere — so it makes sense to know exactly how to download music onto all of your Apple devices.

Read more