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By Laura Stampler
January 23, 2019

For Spotify users who don’t want to hear R. Kelly’s “Ignition” during their morning commute again, the music streaming platform has launched a feature that lets them block specific artists from playing on the app.

Spotify did not immediately reply to Fortune’s request for comment on Wednesday about why it decided to add the blocking feature, which the company had openly debated and ultimately decided not to follow through back in 2017.

But users began noticing it on their updated app earlier this week. The change appears to have come shortly after the release of Lifetime’s six-part controversial documentary Surviving R. Kelly, in which survivors of sexual abuse detailed gut-wrenching accounts of allegations against the R&B artist. The singer’s attorney has denied the allegations.

According to the tech site Thurrott, which first wrote about Spotify’s new feature on Monday, “This means it will block music from that artist on your personal library, playlists, automatically curated playlists, charts, radios, and everything else.

“In fact, you won’t be able to manually play music from an artist you’ve blocked even if you wanted to — and you’d have to unblock an artist before you can play a certain track from them,” the tech site added.

However, Engadget notes that those artists might still appear if they’re doing a featured bit on another musician’s song. (Granted, some artists have pulled collaborations with problematic musicians from streaming sites on their own accord.)

Those looking to “Marie Kondo” their Spotify music collection by updating the app can go to an artist’s page, click on the three dots in the upper right corner and then select, “Don’t play this artist.”

Spotify has been struggling over how it should respond to problematic artists.

Last May, Spotify announced a policy surrounding artists’ “hate content” in music and their “hate conduct” in their personal lives. This led to the app removing all of R. Kelly’s songs from its playlists—although his music remained on the platform for users to stream on their own. (Kelly has been accused of various forms of sexual abuse for decades.)

XXXTentacion, a rapper who had been accused of battering a pregnant woman, was also pulled from Spotify’s promoted playlists at that time as well.

While the “hate conduct” policy seemed reasonable to some, it incited significant backlash from artists and even some Spotify employees who didn’t think that personal behavior should have any bearing on playing music.

Thus, less than a month after the policy was announced, it was pulled.

“While we believe our intentions were good, the language was too vague,” Spotify explained in a blog post, later adding, “We don’t aim to play judge and jury.” Although R. Kelly wasn’t put back on playlists, XXXTentacion, who was killed shortly thereafter in an unrelated incident, was.

Spotify has yet to officially announce the new block feature. And given its history of reversing decisions, it’s too soon to say if this will be a permanent fix.

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