Spotify announced a new policy against “Hate Content & Harmful Conduct” earlier this month, under which the music-streaming service stopped including artists guilty of misconduct in their playlists and other editorial promotions.
XXXTentacion, who was charged for physically abusing a pregnant woman, and R. Kelly, who has been accused of raping multiple women and minors, were the affected artists initially announced. (The policy did not hurt R. Kelly’s Spotify streaming numbers, but XXXTentacion’s plays per day fell as he was removed from the popular RapCaviar playlist.) This move drew criticism from employees and prominent players in the music industry, including Kendrick Lamar, who argue that the policy will single out artists of color. Some opposing artists even threatened to remove their music from Spotify if the policy persisted.
Due to the backlash amid accusations of censorship, Spotify will restore songs by XXXTentacion to their flagship playlists according to Bloomberg. The company is consulting civil-rights activists and music industry members to inform when and how to take the next step. Per Bloomberg, there are no plans to begin promoting R. Kelly again.