Spotify Adds A ‘Block’ Button In Response To Disturbing Artist Allegations

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Jena Greene Reporter
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Popular music streaming service Spotify quietly added a feature this week that allows users to mute artists.

The multimedia hub, which boasts close to 90 million paid subscribers, rolled out a preliminary blocking button on its latest iOS (Apple) app Monday. The feature lets users mute someone from their feed and song recommendations — be it a verified account with millions of followers or someone just starting out — should they decide to participate in a boycott.

Users can access the button by navigating directly to an artist’s page and selecting the “don’t play this artist” button. It’s fairly easy if you know where to look:

The new feature comes as pressure has mounted against Spotify to take certain artists off the air. Allegations of violence and sexual abuse by R. Kelly, XXXTentacion, Chris Brown, and others, continue to shape the #MeToo conversation in the music industry going forward. (RELATED: Chris Brown Arrested In France On Suspicion Of Rape)

Last year, an online campaign called #MuteRKelly grew in popularity as allegations that the rapper sexually abused several women and forced them into sex cults surfaced. Sony recently dropped the rapper, as did his record label, RCA Records. Spotify still carries R. Kelly’s music, so it seems like this is the streaming service’s answer to demands for a boycott.


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(.) #bornforthis

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Similarly, late rapper XXXTentacion was charged for beating his pregnant girlfriend before his death in 2018. And Chris Brown, who has had a litany of legal issues and accusations of domestic abuse over his music career, was arrested on suspicion of rape Tuesday.


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Paris !

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Blocking an artist on Spotify is expected to have a financial impact on artists, should enough users choose to take them off their account. Less followers and streams mean less of a cut of profit from the platform, in theory.

Though many say Spotify’s mute feature doesn’t go far enough, and many artists should be taken off the air entirely. Given the music industry and its host of vices, however, it seems that a blanket censorship is unlikely to happen at this time.

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