Spotify has introduced a new feature that lets users mute artists they wish to block from their accounts on the streaming platform.
A new “Don’t play this artist” button has been added to the service which blocks the selected acts from your personal and curated playlists, along with charts, radio and your personal library.
The button is found in the menu for every artist and is not permanent once you select it. Users can reverse the action by going back to the artist’s menu and clicking “Remove”.
As Billboard reports, the artist will still appear in searches, playlists, and more. The “don’t play” function means Spotify will skip past any relevant tracks, despite them still being visible. It also appears to only be accessible on the mobile app, but reportedly mutes artists on the desktop player once an artist has been blocked.
The function follows the #MuteRKelly social media campaign, which continues to call for further investigation into the sexual misconduct claims against R Kelly. A recent documentary, Surviving R Kelly, featured testimonies from multiple women accusing the star of sexual assault. Kelly has denied the claims.
The introduction of the feature comes after Spotify announced a new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy last year, which saw music by the likes of R Kelly and XXXTentacion removed from the platform’s editorial and algorithmic playlists.
In a statement at the time, Spotify said: “We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behaviour, but we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values.”
However, the policy caused controversy and was quickly reversed. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek later said the company had rolled it out in the wrong way. “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech,” he said. “It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist.”