Spotify has decided to revert back to old policy after the company stopped promoting R. Kelly’s music as part of a controversial new artist conduct policy.
The music streaming service is “moving away” from its “hate content” and “harmful conduct” policy, which was meant to provide guidelines for Spotify to remove an artist from its curated playlists and recommendation algorithms if their behavior is deemed unacceptable.
“Spotify recently shared a new policy around hate content and conduct,” reads an announcementshared Friday to the Spotify website. “And while we believe our intentions were good, the language was too vague, we created confusion and concern, and didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines.
“Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists,” the post continued. “Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.”
Spotify announced last month that it would not actively promote Kelly’s music after deeming he was in violation of the conduct policy. Kelly is accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, while the parents of one of his girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, have claimed their daughter is “brainwashed” and controlled by the singer.
The streaming service took the same measures with another artist, XXXTentacion, who has faced a series of legal issues, including a 2016 domestic violence arrest for an alleged attack on a pregnant woman.
Spotify’s move was condemned by reps for both Kelly and XXXTentacion, and it sparked a wider conversation about whether the policy could be considered censorship.
“Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature,” Kelly’s rep said in a statement at the time. “Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.”
Shortly after Spotify announced its decision, fellow music provider Pandora also stopped promoting R. Kelly’s music.