Spotify has backpedaled on its newly instated Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy, after being criticized for a seemingly rushed and vaguely explained rollout.


Moving forward, any hate content will still be removed from Spotify’s library. This doesn’t mean “offensive, explicit, or vulgar content” — this is only, specifically, “hate content.” There’s clearly no room for any such content, and music fans should be happy to know that Spotify won’t support hate speech moving forward.

The more complicated part of Spotify’s now retracted policy lies within the “hateful conduct” portion. This is where the streaming platform ran into trouble, for banning artists like R Kelly and and XXXTentacion from its curated editorial content. Now, the new policy assures artists it won’t judge and jury based off from allegations, and is therefore moving away from the policy based on conduct.

It’s important to read through Spotify’s policy update in full, as stated straight from the company’s newsroom, For The Record. Read through below so you know exactly what to expect with this hate policy.

Do you think this is a better approach?

Spotify Policy Update

Spotify recently shared a new policy around hate content and conduct. 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.

It’s important to note that our policy had two parts. The first was related to promotional decisions in the rare cases of the most extreme artist controversies. As some have pointed out, this language was vague and left too many elements open to interpretation. We created concern that an allegation might affect artists’ chances of landing on a Spotify playlist and negatively impact their future. Some artists even worried that mistakes made in their youth would be used against them.

That’s not what Spotify is about. We don’t aim to play judge and jury. We aim to connect artists and fans – and Spotify playlists are a big part of how we do that. Our playlist editors are deeply rooted in their respective cultures, and their decisions focus on what music will positively resonate with their listeners. That can vary greatly from culture to culture, and playlist to playlist. Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.

The second part of our policy addressed hate content. Spotify does not permit content whose principal purpose is to incite hatred or violence against people because of their race, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. As we’ve done before, we will remove content that violates that standard. We’re not talking about offensive, explicit, or vulgar content – we’re talking about hate speech.

We will continue to seek ways to impact the greater good and further the industry we all care so much about. We believe Spotify has an opportunity to help push the broader music community forward through conversation, collaboration and action. We’re committed to working across the artist and advocacy communities to help achieve that.