Women are experiencing harassment on Spotify, and the company is stalling on a block feature that might help.
BuzzFeed News reports that women on the site have been stalked by exes and acquaintances on the music streaming platform. Although there is no messaging feature, you can see people’s activity, playlists, and their followers.
BuzzFeed News spoke with one woman who left an abusive boyfriend and was able to block him on all platforms but Spotify. He would lurk on her playlists and activity and, the woman said, “send me emails about it, convinced that what I was listening to was proof I wanted to be with him again.”
Subscribers were suggesting a block feature as early as 2012. BuzzFeed News cited one user who had a restraining order against someone who was still able to surveil them on the site. Spotify posted an update on a community request for a block feature on July 9.
“We definitely think this is a strong idea, however it isn’t in our current road map,” the post said. “The teams behind our social features are aware that you’re bringing your feedback here and we’re working closely with them to bring forward all your comments and concerns.”
In 2015, a Change.org petition also asked for a block feature on Spotify. The creation of the petition stated: “When I attempted to block my harasser on Spotify, I learned that the only way I could stop them from following my activity would be to ask Spotify to delete my account (which could take 48 hours), and then reopen a new one—and even then, that person could still find me and start following my new account.”
Elsewhere, users have tweeted at Spotify requesting a block feature like what’s used on most major social media platforms.
Hey, we're sorry to hear that. Right now it's not possible, but we'll pass the feedback on to the relevant folks /TM
— SpotifyCares (@SpotifyCares) February 4, 2018
This stalling seems counterintuitive next to Spotify’s recent hateful conduct policy, which sought to remove music from known abusers like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion (before his death). Spotify CEO Daniel Ek later wavered on the stance, saying the company bungled the rollout. Most likely, Spotify received pushback from the music industry on that policy, but it’s not clear why it’s taken so long to implement an essential feature like the block.
Spotify did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
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H/T BuzzFeed News