Spotify Removes R Kelly From Playlists Due to 'Hateful Conduct' Policy

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Their demand was specifically targeted at Kelly's label, RCA, as well as Spotify, Apple Music, Ticketmaster, and the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

The world's biggest streaming service Spotify has removed R Kelly's music from its playlists following accusations of sexual abuse by the R&B singer.

"We are removing R Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly", a spokesperson for Spotify told Billboard about the new policy.

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The policy goes on to outline "hate conduct" as well, claiming that while the streaming service doesn't censor art based on an artist's behaviour, particularly harmful behaviour may affect how Spotify works with or supports certain artists. A woman told Rolling Stone a year ago that she was in a long-term relationship with the singer that was sexually and physically abusive.

Will Spotify take action against these artists as well? Meanwhile, though, 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.

Multiple women have accused Kelly of sexual violence over the years, including allegations more recently that he was holding women in a "sex cult". The statement attests that Kelly "is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time".

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However, the new policy also delves into an artist's behavior.

"A publicity-driven protest by a handful of people is in keeping with their First Amendment rights, and they are free to skip the event", Kelly's management team wrote.

Kelly isn't the only artist affected by the policy. Though, according to Spin, a song featuring Tay-K was still allowed in the playlist.

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The rapper, who is now facing charges including the aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, was featured on Spotify's Rap Caviar playlist as recently as this week, the New York Times reports. The company also built what's called Spotify AudioWatch, which is a monitoring tool that has the ability to identify content that has been flagged as hate content. The company acknowledges that there are different standards for what could be considered offensive in different regions, but worked with advocacy groups like The Southern Poverty Law Center and The Anti-Defamation League to define "hate content".

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