May 23, 2019 / 4:10 PM

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Spotify Announces New Hate Content, Conduct Policy, Removes R. Kelly From Official Playlists



Spotify is heeding the call to #MuteRKelly for the numerous sexual harassment and assault made by several women against the R&B singer.

Keeping The Internet Free Of Hate

On Thursday, May 10, the popular online streaming service announced a new "Hate Content and Hateful Conduct" policy that will police the content submitted by artists and the community.

According to the press release, the new policy gives the company the right to remove content on the platform that expresses, promotes, and incites violence toward an individual or group of people based on their gender, religion, race, ethnicity, disability, or veteran status.

"We love that our platform is home to so much diversity because we believe in openness, tolerance, respect, and freedom of expression, and we want to promote those values through music in our platform," the site shared. "However, we do not tolerate hate content on Spotify."

To protect its millions of users around the world from hateful content, Spotify has partnered with several organizations including GLAAD, The Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, Showing Up For Racial Justice, Color of Change, Muslim Advocates, and International Network Against Cyber Hate.

If users flag a song or a playlist as hate content, Spotify will review the report and either remove the content or the site will refrain from promoting it. Of course, the rights owner of the offending content will be alerted and consulted before any action will be carried out.

To report a hateful content, users can submit a complaint via Spotify's website.

Spotify Mutes R. Kelly

In line with the new content policy, Spotify also joined the call to #MuteRKelly, a movement started by Hollywood's Time's Up following multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women.

On Thursday, Spotify also announced that they are removing the 51-year-old's songs from its own curated playlists and from algorithmic recommendations.

R. Kelly's entire catalog, however, will continue to be available for streaming on the website, but fans will have to go directly to his page in order to access his music. Spotify will cease from promoting his music in light of the accusations.

"We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — that we choose to program — to reflect our values," a representative for the Swedish company explained in a statement to Billboard. "When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."

R. Kelly's camp continues to deny the accusations of sexual misconduct. His management insists that the alleged abuse were false and fabricated to ruin the "I Believe I Can Fly" singer's reputation.

"R. Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire," said the artist's management team in a statement to People. "He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending charges against him."

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