Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has expressed an overwhelming feeling of regret over how the company’s ‘hateful content’ policy was introduced
Ek, who was speaking to a keynote Q&A at the Code Conference, said: “we rolled this out wrong,” having seen a backlash after the removal of certain artists. Most notably, the music of R Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion removed from it’s playlists.
“We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” said Ek. “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech. It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist.” According to Variety, Ek “took personal responsibility for the botched rollout” and “deemed the policy too ambiguous and open to interpretation.”
Following the controversy, some reports have suggested that Spotify intend to “eventually restore” XXXTentacion’s music to its playlists.
The new Spotify policy reads: “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.”