Spotify Bans Hateful Content, NOT Hateful Actions by Artists

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,221 20 9
#1
After a tumultuous three-week trial, Spotify has changed its controversial anti-hate policy. The new policy still bans “hateful content” from the streaming service, but no longer penalizes artists who demonstrate “hateful conduct” in their personal and professional lives. The controversial R&B artist R. Kelly was the first to see his music suppressed — but not removed — as a result of his alleged history of sexual misconduct. Was Spotify’s anti-hate policy just a bad execution of a good idea, or is censorship a slippery slope?

spotify.jpg


Read: Spotify Rethinks its Anti-Hate Policy
 
H

hk2000

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
20
#2
Personally I don't think they went far enough. Then again, Spotify is one of very few streaming services that won't allow the subscribers to block explicit content. I had a subscription for a couple of years until I gave up on them ever changing that policy and cancelled it. The way things are trending no amount of censorship will be enough to save humanity from the evil few who are hellbent on destroying it.
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
716 7 1
#3
Off-topic, but that photo appears to be the Bluesound app look. Do you have Bluesound equipment, Gene?

I don't care about explicit content. I click to something else on Tidal HiFi if I don't like it for that or any other reason. Not much effort required there. I don't think they (Spotify nor other services) should be deleting content from controversial artists; it is indeed a slippery slope and can easily get politically charged.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
2,581 9 4
#4
After a tumultuous three-week trial, Spotify has changed its controversial anti-hate policy. The new policy still bans “hateful content” from the streaming service, but no longer penalizes artists who demonstrate “hateful conduct” in their personal and professional lives. The controversial R&B artist R. Kelly was the first to see his music suppressed — but not removed — as a result of his alleged history of sexual misconduct. Was Spotify’s anti-hate policy just a bad execution of a good idea, or is censorship a slippery slope?

View attachment 24578

Read: Spotify Rethinks its Anti-Hate Policy
What took them so long? R Kelly has been doing nasty stuff to women since the early-'90s, probably long before.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,291 7 3
#6
Here's the problem, "hate" is not clearly defined. It becomes censorship by opinion.

The USA has freedom of speech as the first amendment right. That guarantees the right for any citizen (unfortunately that includes hate groups) to speak about their beliefs.

I don't like it, but I must concede that they have that freedom. Once you remove the freedom of speech, we are removing a pillar of our Constitution.

I understand that Spotify is a private company, so they retain the right to determine what content they provide on their service. But, it still comes back to someone's opinion. Where does the line get drawn? Who determines when it is time to creep that line a little further and a little further?
 
Forsooth

Forsooth

Audioholic
Ratings
46 3
#7
Censorship is a dangerously slippery slope. If Spotify wanted to remove hate speech, they'd have started with rap which is largely nothing but thumping hate content (N-word, etc.). Let consumers decide, don't go the snowflake SJW route. "1984" was a novel, not an instruction manual.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,291 7 3
#8
Censorship is a dangerously slippery slope. If Spotify wanted to remove hate speech, they'd have started with rap which is largely nothing but thumping hate content (N-word, etc.). Let consumers decide, don't go the snowflake SJW route. "1984" was a novel, not an instruction manual.
Perfect example, I don't consider rap as hate speech. I may also consider some music that you call rap as "hip-hop" instead.

The lines are blurry.

No songs that "hate" the government? That's like 50% of what punk rock is all about, guess they won't have punk on there either.

It's the same line as censorship for vulgar content vs. works of art. Who gets to make that decision FOR ME?

There was a Vonnegut book that made the distinction--If it has hair then it's vulgar, if it does not then it's art o_Oo_O
 
Forsooth

Forsooth

Audioholic
Ratings
46 3
#9
Perfect example, I don't consider rap as hate speech. I may also consider some music that you call rap as "hip-hop" instead.

The lines are blurry.

No songs that "hate" the government? That's like 50% of what punk rock is all about, guess they won't have punk on there either.

It's the same line as censorship for vulgar content vs. works of art. Who gets to make that decision FOR ME?

There was a Vonnegut book that made the distinction--If it has hair then it's vulgar, if it does not then it's art o_Oo_O
Right, I agree. My reference to rap (hip-hop, whatever) was alluding to the idea that Spotify would certainly lose tons of subscribers if this type of music were withdrawn so, of course, they will not delete it. I say remove only content that is clearly known to shock the conscience (e.g., animal cruelty) or that advocates the committing of crimes that are grossly illegal (e.g., pot smoking is not grossly illegal, but pedophilia is).

I promise I will not post again on this thread. :)
 
Last edited:
Johnny2Bad

Johnny2Bad

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
256 6 4
#10
I'm not a fan of censorship for moral grounds. I can separate someone's work from their personalities or their human failings.

Wagner was an anti-Semite, Elvis liked little girls (not THAT little, but not 18 either; he met his wife Priscilla when she was 16, which was a little old for him actually),Jerry Lee Lweis married his 13 year old cousin, Wm S Burroughs shot his wife in the head playing a drunken / drigged round of Russian Roulette, ... I could go on. We probably don't allow posts large enough to tally all the sins of musicians; Alfred Hitchcock terribly abused his female leads but I still can watch his movies and understand his brilliant work in film doesn't give him a pass as a human being nor does it require me to avoid his movies.

The problem of course is there is a certain kind of person that thrives telling us all what's good for us and pointing fingers at others. The end result is always a moral witch hunt, because there is always someone who can muster up outrage at an escalating and expanding list of human behaviour. You get lashes in Singapore for spitting on the street, and trust me, that is not even close to how trivial the "deviant" behaviour that has been censored and punishable in otherwise reasonably well meaning societies.

It's best not to trust them which means not playing along, and don't argue that this is a private / public corporation that is making the decision because if they didn't see the public outrage they wouldn't bother, so it always comes from elements in society, and that does not mean society as a whole, just those who know better than us what is good for us. They should not be encouraged.

If you do something illegal, go to jail, but if you can write a song while locked up, I'm willing to listen to it.
 
Last edited:
Matt34

Matt34

Moderator
Ratings
2,782 2 1
#11
Social media has enabled "mob mentality outrage" over the pettiest of things. Too many companies are terrified they will be on the receiving end of it that they flip flop more than a fish on a frying pan until the mob finds something else to be offended by and moves on.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,010 5
#13
I guess 'I Hate Everything About You' by Ugly Kid Joe won't be getting any play, eh?
Thought that was a 3 days grace song...the more you know...

Most music isn't about hate. Johnny rebel was about hate (don't look it up, bad racist crap) and stuff like that shouldn't be there. I'm not sure what else they'd consider hate?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
2,581 9 4
#14
Here's the problem, "hate" is not clearly defined. It becomes censorship by opinion.

The USA has freedom of speech as the first amendment right. That guarantees the right for any citizen (unfortunately that includes hate groups) to speak about their beliefs.

I don't like it, but I must concede that they have that freedom. Once you remove the freedom of speech, we are removing a pillar of our Constitution.

I understand that Spotify is a private company, so they retain the right to determine what content they provide on their service. But, it still comes back to someone's opinion. Where does the line get drawn? Who determines when it is time to creep that line a little further and a little further?
When it's the government that decides what can be said, it's too late to stop the problem. If it's a private company, website, service or other entity, they have that right.

If any group starts making noise about stopping free speech, it needs to be crushed. Political correctness is the first step. There's no need to constantly insult people but making people walk on egg shells for fear of offending is just plain wrong.
 
S

Schrodinger23

Enthusiast
Ratings
9
#15
When it's the government that decides what can be said, it's too late to stop the problem. If it's a private company, website, service or other entity, they have that right.

If any group starts making noise about stopping free speech, it needs to be crushed. Political correctness is the first step. There's no need to constantly insult people but making people walk on egg shells for fear of offending is just plain wrong.
I agree. Calling what Spotify is doing censorship is a big stretch, bordering on ridiculous. Spotify is a lot like the record labels were, as far as reach, in previous decades. Could you imagine this article being written 20 years ago, where someone hears that some neo-nazi's are turned down by Warner, Virgin and other big name record labels, and then tries to make a case that this is censorship. Of course the record labels want nothing to do with them, and I would applaud them for doing so. Just recently the Rosanne show reboot, which did extremely well in its first season ratings, was cancelled when she tweeted some racist remarks. ABC wanted nothing to do with it after that.

If the government says that somebody can't make a record that contains certain words, phrases, etc., then that is definitely censorship, which I agree we should be up in arms about. That is a slippery slope. But, just because an artist can't be found on Spotify is not the end of the world. I watch many movies that aren't produced from the big studios and might not be found on big streaming services. It takes some extra work to track them down, but I'm not all upset about it.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
7,030 13 19
#16
The Anglo Saxon world has been prone to outbreaks of Puritanism. We are now suffering through a severe outbreak, particularly affecting the English speaking world. What the French call "Puritanism a la Americaine" is particularly odious in the US and UK at this time.

Author Lionel Shriver recenlty penned this rather long but poignant Op Ed piece. I'm entirely in agreement on every point she makes.

I have been attuned to this for a long time, as my father many, many years ago predicted this current outbreak, and called it the "New Puritanism." I'm astonished at how accurate his predictions were.

This is something I really feel obligated to push back against and do. I can spot the purveyors of this new dreadful ideology and go out of my way to give offense to them. When I hear in drawing of breath, I know my arrow has hits its mark.

There are few articles I consider absolute mandatory reading, but the one I site is currently top of that category.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
2,581 9 4
#17
Could you imagine this article being written 20 years ago, where someone hears that some neo-nazi's are turned down by Warner, Virgin and other big name record labels, and then tries to make a case that this is censorship. Of course the record labels want nothing to do with them, and I would applaud them for doing so. Just recently the Rosanne show reboot, which did extremely well in its first season ratings, was cancelled when she tweeted some racist remarks. ABC wanted nothing to do with it after that.

If the government says that somebody can't make a record that contains certain words, phrases, etc., then that is definitely censorship, which I agree we should be up in arms about. That is a slippery slope. But, just because an artist can't be found on Spotify is not the end of the world. I watch many movies that aren't produced from the big studios and might not be found on big streaming services. It takes some extra work to track them down, but I'm not all upset about it.
What about the wife of a sitting Vice President forming a group with the intent of marking albums and other forms of music so parents can see that the music contains obscenities, vulgar lyrics and references to violence? Is that close enough to 'government' for you? If you don't know about this, I'm referring to Tipper Gore, wife of Algore.

Spotify is a non-governmental entity and you may remember seeing signs in restaurants with "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone". While I suspect that originated when it was OK to discriminate on racial or religious grounds, I would fight hard for the right to refuse to play music from hate groups just because I think they should go pound sand, regardless of any rights to free speech. My house, my rules.
 
Johnny2Bad

Johnny2Bad

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
256 6 4
#18
The Anglo Saxon world has been prone to outbreaks of Puritanism. We are now suffering through a severe outbreak, particularly affecting the English speaking world. What the French call "Puritanism a la Americaine" is particularly odious in the US and UK at this time.

Author Lionel Shriver recently penned this rather long but poignant Op Ed piece. I'm entirely in agreement on every point she makes.

I have been attuned to this for a long time, as my father many, many years ago predicted this current outbreak, and called it the "New Puritanism." I'm astonished at how accurate his predictions were.

This is something I really feel obligated to push back against and do. I can spot the purveyors of this new dreadful ideology and go out of my way to give offence to them. When I hear in drawing of breath, I know my arrow has hits its mark.

There are few articles I consider absolute mandatory reading, but the one I site is currently top of that category.
There is certainly a difference between French and English sensibilities. I can give an excellent example, based in North America and on North American media no less.

Canada has two official languages, French and English. The province of Quebec has a special place in the national space, right down to a legal system partly based on the French Civil Law instead of the English-majority and Federal Canadian system based on British Common Law. The concept is summed up by the phrase "Two Solitudes" which describes two ways of governing society.*

Now all that boring stuff brings us to the point, which is the rating systems for videos, movies, television and so on.

I won't bother with a laundry list, but basically in Quebec they have their own movie/tv etc rating system (it applies to any French-language content, so a movie with both English and French language audio available can have two very different ratings, and the Quebec rating would apply even if, for example, you are watching over-the-air content on a French language station in English Canada).

Under the Quebec/French language rating system, sexual content and crude language is more or less allowed in over-13 age ratings but violence will definitely get you an adult (18+) rating; while in English Canada it's more similar to US ratings, with violence allowed at 14+ and sexual content limited to adult 18+ ratings and coarse language allowed in a more liberal way (brief coarse language will only get you a 14+ if it's consistent with the story, while constant F-bombs might get you an 18+).

Broadly speaking things are a bit less Puritain in Canada (you can use the F-word, or any word for that matter, on over-the-air TV after 10 PM, for example, and news is not censored at all with regard to language at any time of day) but the different attitude to violent content and sexual content is striking.

Clearly if some do-gooder suggests to you that there exists a clear argument for one or against the other they are mistaken, as there is not more sexual crime in Quebec, nor less violent crime in Quebec compared to the rest of English-speaking Canada. And as a rule (stereotype warning) Canadians don't have a reputation for being impolite just because you can swear on a TV show and everyone without cable or the internet can view it.

I remember once, visiting in Arkansas and hunting (offends some people) we came across a few old grave sites. The concrete toumbstones often had the initials 'C.S.A' on them (Confederate States Army). But some had been defaced, with those letters clearly chiseled out. The local we were with at the time simply said "It offends some people". But history should not be whitewashed, it is what it is. Lessons to be learned, for sure, and not taking those lessons is the real crime, but defacing a grave stone is, in my opinion, taking it too far.

I'm Irish ancestry. The present-day Capital of the Irish Republic is Dublin. That city was founded by Vikings as a slave market about a thousand years ago,, where captured Irish were sold to the highest, typically Viking, bidder, or if lucky, were ransomed off to the family if they were wealthy enough (and some were Feudal Kings, and still ended up in Scandinavia with an iron collar on their necks, so that part wasn't exactly trivial). Should we raze Dublin and start over, or just remember what happened there? I say the latter.

* After the defeat of the French army at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the French were offered unprecedented terms of surrender. They were allowed to keep their Catholic religion (conquering nations till then always demanded the assimilation of the victor's religion, in this case would have been to the Protestant Church of England) and their legal system, if they agree to live peacefully within a greater national society. The deal had to be approved by Queen Victoria, who graciously agreed, and so did the French.

That would form the basis of what would later become Canada, whom also were able to secure another unprecedented concession from the British Crown, that of self-government without the intervention of the Queen (Victoria again) or the British Parliament. So this stuff goes way back and is an important aspect of how Canada became to be.

I'm pretty confident that all that didn't foresee the adoption of two different movie and tv rating systems, but that's how these things work over time.
 
Last edited:
eljr

eljr

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
62 1
#19
If it's a private company, website, service or other entity, they have that right.
plus one

If any group starts making noise about stopping free speech, it needs to be crushed. Political correctness is the first step. There's no need to constantly insult people but making people walk on egg shells for fear of offending is just plain wrong.
LOL, if you feel you are walking on egg shells you must feel what you are saying is wrong on some level. Otherwise, why would you be uncomfortable to say something?

You are responsible for your feelings no one else.

I see this all over now a days. No one takes personal impressionability. In fact, the one's that yell it the loudest are the one's that take the least personal responsibility in deed. .
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
2,581 9 4
#20
plus one



LOL, if you feel you are walking on egg shells you must feel what you are saying is wrong on some level. Otherwise, why would you be uncomfortable to say something?

You are responsible for your feelings no one else.

I see this all over now a days. No one takes personal impressionability. In fact, the one's that yell it the loudest are the one's that take the least personal responsibility in deed. .
Are you saying that you think there's a need to constantly insult people? What happened to constructive criticism?
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis