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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2018 08:13 pm
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srossi
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Under its new "hateful code of conduct", Spotify has removed R Kelly songs from its platform after numerous accusations of sexual violence have been levied against him, and people are actually applauding this (not surprisingly). 

So now going forward music will be censored not just based on the lyrical content, which is bad enough, but also on the personal conduct of the artists.  This pretty much opens the door to the removal of every song in existence.  There isn't one musician alive who hasn't been at least accused (if not convicted) of assault, sleeping with underage groupies, or thousands of other transgressions that could put them on this list.   



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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2018 08:39 pm
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The more interesting music development this week is how that paper from Norwegia has busted Jay-Z´s streaming service. I can see how todays industry is hopelessly flawed towards rich musicians (see: Swift, Del Rey and all the other stars who only made it because their daddys spent a lot of money) and that has to stop at one point.



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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2018 09:36 pm
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Calm down, his music hasn't been removed. All they have done is remove him from their playlists. You can still listen to Fly Like An Eagle, and put him in your own playlists. I see no problem with what they have done.



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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2018 09:55 pm
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srossi
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Kriss wrote: Calm down, his music hasn't been removed. All they have done is remove him from their playlists. You can still listen to Fly Like An Eagle, and put him in your own playlists. I see no problem with what they have done.
Uh huh, I’m sure it won’t go any further than that. How about that hugely publicized Beatles-Spotify deal recently?  They do realize that John Lennon had a huge history of domestic violence with his first wife, I’m sure.  They need to remove that playlist and the ones from just about everyone else too. 



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 Posted: Fri May 11th, 2018 06:25 am
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Kriss



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srossi wrote: Kriss wrote: Calm down, his music hasn't been removed. All they have done is remove him from their playlists. You can still listen to Fly Like An Eagle, and put him in your own playlists. I see no problem with what they have done.
Uh huh, I’m sure it won’t go any further than that. How about that hugely publicized Beatles-Spotify deal recently?  They do realize that John Lennon had a huge history of domestic violence with his first wife, I’m sure.  They need to remove that playlist and the ones from just about everyone else too. 


Come back when Spotifty actually removes the catalog of an artist. Gary Glitter is a convicted nonce and his music is still there.



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 Posted: Fri May 11th, 2018 11:32 am
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This is literally "fake news". They just took his songs off their official playlist. And I'm not even going to rag srossi over this, I saw this last night posted all over the internet from mainstream news sources and almost EVERY ONE had it listed as "Spotify removes R Kelly's music from it's streaming service!". You had to dig 3/4th into any article to find out they didn't actually pull his music..



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 Posted: Mon May 14th, 2018 03:33 pm
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srossi
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I understand the headlines were misleading, but this is the first step and it's coming. In 10 years, when easy access to all musical content is controlled by 3 corporations and they have to be given permission by "watchdog groups" to make anything available, you can point to this year as the starting point with Facebook and Spotify. It's happening right now! This is "The Chilling Effect" of free speech that the Supreme Court has talked about for 150 years, where it might not be the government jailing people but it in effect ends free speech by making it almost impossible or extremely unpleasant for people to exercise it.

http://reason.com/blog/2018/05/14/spotify-partners-with-the-southern-pover

Spotify Partners with the Southern Poverty Law Center to Purge 'Hate Content' from Its Music

A well-intentioned new policy threatens the violent, angry music we know and love

Following in the steps of Facebook and YouTube, Spotify is trying to scrub its platform of controversial content. The streaming music service has released a new "hate content and hateful conduct" policy, outlining how it intends to identify and deal with music that violates the company's core principles of "openness, diversity, tolerance and respect."

According to the policy, any tracks or artists identified as "hate content"—defined as music that "principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability"—will be either removed from Spotify altogether or suppressed in promotions and stripped out of any platform-generated playlists.

The "hateful conduct" part of the policy will take aim at musicians' off-the-clock behavior. "When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful," the company explains, that will affect the company's dealings with them. R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexually abusing underage girls, appears to be the first casualty of this policy: The singer's music will still stream at Spotify but will no longer be promoted there.

Several advocacy groups will help Spotify identify "hate content." Among them: the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and GLAAD.

Fighting bigotry is a fine goal, and I am sure Spotify's intentions are pure. It also goes without saying that a private company can moderate content however it wants.

That said, the this "hate content" policy is an ambiguous mess doomed to failure. Music, including a lot of incredibly popular music, is full of hateful, racist, sexist, homophobic, and otherwise appalling messages. Attempting to sort the truly objectionable from the merely edgy or dated will only lend itself to arbitrary enforcement.

Take "Gangsta Gangsta," from NWA's 1988 album Straight Outta Compton. The rap has racked up an impressive 31 million streams on Spotify, dazzling listeners with lyrics like "dumb-ass hooker ain't nothing but a dyke" and "life ain't nothing but bitches and money":

Or take Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing," which reached the top spot on the Billboard charts back in 1985 and now has been streamed some 88 million times on Spotify. This popular rock song contains such gems as "See the little faggot with the earring and the make-up/Yeah buddy, that's his own hair/ That little faggot got his own jet airplane/That little faggot he's a millionaire":

Savvy listeners can certainly muster defenses of these tracks. "Money for Nothing," for example, was based on a conversation that Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler overheard in a store; it would be a mistake to declare the singer homophobic just because a character in his song is. But the language could still offend people. How exactly Spotify should adjudicate that is anyone's guess.

At any rate, both songs peddle in homophobic and misogynistic slurs. Do they rise to level of "hate content," though? One might argue that these songs aren't "principally" promoting or inciting hate, as required by Spotify's policy. But that again is a fuzzy line. Is misogyny the principle message of "Gangsta, Gangsta" or just an ancillary theme?

Then there are questions about songs that do explicitly promote hate and violence are going to be treated. We live in a time, after all, when some states are adding the police to the protected classes in their hate crimes laws. So consider another popular NWA track, "Fuck tha Police." It's undeniably hateful. And it includes explicit calls for violence against law enforcement, with lines like "Beat a police out of shape/And when I'm finished, bring the yellow tape":

At a time when some states are adding the police to the protected classes in their hate crimes laws, you can see where this is going. Were Spotify to employ its "hate content" criteria neutrally across its entire platform, it would almost certainly have to suppress this song. Remember, the new policy bars incitement against groups marked by a potentially limitless set of characteristics, not just the ones explicitly listed.

Yet NWA's invocation of violence was itself a reaction to police racism and violence. Hatred, anger, and violent fantasies are real, predictable, even common reactions to injustice. Part of what makes songs like "Fuck tha Police" so powerful and enduring is that they capture that hate and turn it into popular art that speaks to an audience. Will they have to go nevertheless?

Spotify's new policy acknowledges this dilemma by saying that "cultural standards and sensitivities vary widely" and that "there will always be content that is acceptable in some circumstances, but is offensive in others, and we will always look at the entire context."

OK, good. But that raises more questions than it answers.

What context might make violent or hateful lyrics safe for Spotify? Would they have to be a response to injustice, as with "Fuck tha Police"? A lot of people like being titillated by dark, violent, and grotesque images. This is particularly true of music, where whole genres of music exist to horrify their audiences with obscenely violent lyrics and themes. Try to apply Spotify's standards to large swaths of rap, punk, and metal without barring them entirely will become an exercise in absurdity.

Take death metal superstars Cannibal Corpse's song "Hammer Smashed Face" (5 million listens on Spotify):

The lyrics here include "I smash your fucking head in, until brains seep in through the cracks." That might survive the cut, since they refer to a neutral "you" rather than a "you" whose race, gender, sexual orientation, or veteran's status has been specifically stated. The band might run into more problems for its song "Entrails Ripped from a Virgin's Cunt" (212,000 listens), since—as the name suggests—it includes some graphic descriptions of violence against women. But is smashing someone's head in with a hammer less hateful than pulling her innards through her vagina? I guess Spotify will have to decide.

The company's policy becomes even more troublesome when one considers that the Southern Poverty Law Center will help to guide and enforce it. Given that group's history of using exceptionally broad definitions of "hate" and "hate groups," one can be forgiven for being pessimistic about their ability to vet musical content with a light and sensitive touch. (I reached out both Spotify and the Southern Poverty Law Center to ask how this identification of hate content will work in practice but did not receive a reply.)

Inevitably, some songs will cross lines of acceptable expression. Part of musical exploration is finding where that line is for yourself. But now Spotify plans to put itself in the role of defining where that line has to be, undercutting its own value as a library for listeners to explore.

Last edited on Mon May 14th, 2018 03:34 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Mon May 14th, 2018 03:45 pm
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Ultimark



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I see Rossi's point. We are entering the Rollerball phase of society's existence. Should be fun.

Last edited on Mon May 14th, 2018 03:46 pm by Ultimark

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 Posted: Mon May 14th, 2018 04:27 pm
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If the SPLC is involved, it's sure to be a cluster fuck. They're myopic scumbags.



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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2018 05:13 pm
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srossi
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No, this didn't open a can of worms at all.  Note the key word "allegations", which means they can mobilize to remove anyone.

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/womens-advocacy-group-calls-for-red-hot-chili-peppers-steven-tyler-to-be-dropped-from-spotify/


According to The Pulse Of Radio, women's advocacy group UltraViolet has called for Spotify to remove the music of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, AEROSMITH's Steven Tyler, THE EAGLES' Don Henley, Ted Nugent and other artists from the streaming service, stating that the musicians were being "glorified despite allegations of abuse." The demand came after Spotify removed a number of artists last week as part of a new hate content policy aimed at refusing exposure to those with a history of abusive behavior.

Acts like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion, two artists with long histories of sexual misconduct and abuse, were dropped from the service as a result of the new policy.

UltraViolet
executive director Shaunna Thomas wrote in an open letter to Spotify chief Daniel Ek: "On behalf of our one million members, UltraViolet applauds and supports this choice. Yet as you know, these two men are not the only abusers on your platform. We implore you to take a deeper look at the artists you promote."

Thomas
added: "Every time a famous individual continues to be glorified despite allegations of abuse, we wrongly perpetuate silence by showing survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence that there will be no consequences for abuse."

In a statement announcing Spotify's decision to no longer include R. Kelly on its playlists, the online music sharing site said: "His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values. 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."

Kelly
's management responded in a statement that the singer "has never been accused of hate" and insisted that he was "innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff."

Kelly
's management went on to accuse Spotify of "bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers."

Last edited on Wed May 16th, 2018 05:14 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2018 06:54 pm
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Pretty much everyone but the Carpenters will be removed if the criteria basically that a group thinks they should go. Utter horseshit and censorship at it's worst. The Beatles have to go because John beat his first wife. Kiss has to go because Gene Simmons is a dog. There literally are reasons for almost everyone to be banned.

If you don't like someone, don't buy their songs. Simple. Otherwise, fuck off and let me listen to whoever I want.

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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2018 06:57 pm
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I don't like Billy Corgan's politics. As a matter of fact, I detest it. However, I really like the Smashing Pumpkins and see no reason to stop listening. People really need to start minding their own business unless someone is truly being injured. 99% of this is complete garbage. People are way too soft anymore.

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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2018 07:55 pm
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srossi
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Ultimark wrote: I don't like Billy Corgan's politics. As a matter of fact, I detest it. However, I really like the Smashing Pumpkins and see no reason to stop listening. People really need to start minding their own business unless someone is truly being injured. 99% of this is complete garbage. People are way too soft anymore.
It's really crazy that people can no longer enjoy any aspect of life without politicizing it or wanting to knock the artist down a few pegs.  There are songs I like that are complete anathema to everything I believe in, like John Lennon's ode to socialism "Imagine", but I take it for what it is and don't let it ruin my day.  And there are some songs that are lyrically more in line with my views that I think suck.  If I never listened to anyone who I disagreed with politically or whose lifestyle choices were in line with my own, I wouldn't listen to music.    

That goes for any form of entertainment.  My Facebook feed today reminded me of Wendell Pierce assaulting a female Bernie Sanders fan 2 years ago because he's a super over-the-top wackjob Hillary supporter.  I joked that he ruined "The Wire" for me, but not really.  I still love the show and I still love him in it.  Because I'm a fucking adult who can distinguish between art and the artist!

Last edited on Wed May 16th, 2018 07:59 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Thu May 17th, 2018 10:00 pm
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Looks like there's a couple of Dee Dee Warwick selections up on Spotify. 

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 Posted: Thu May 17th, 2018 10:16 pm
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Well as long as my Skrewdriver playlist is still intact....



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