Blocking trolls and harassers has sadly become a fact of life on social networks, from Twitter to Facebook and Instagram. Now Spotify is being questioned over the inability to do this on its platform.
BuzzFeed News reported yesterday on the case of a woman being stalked by her former partner. “Meghan had blocked him on every platform she could think of, but she had no option to do so on one: Spotify,” it explained. “Her ex would ‘follow what I was listening to and send me emails about it, convinced that what I was listening to was proof I wanted to be with him again,’ she told BuzzFeed News. The messages were often angry.”
Spotify has responded to calls for such a feature in its online community: indeed, earlier this month the company posted an official response. “We definitely think this is a strong idea, however it isn’t in our current roadmap,” it explained.
In the absence of action on this front, some campaigners are criticising Spotify and linking the issue to its recent botched policy changes around hateful conduct.
“It’s interesting that Spotify would be taking such a strong stance in one aspect of its service, recognising sexual violence against women, and then disengage a piece of its app when it could be actively preventing harassment online,” said Lindsey Song, staff attorney at New York charity Sanctuary for Families, which works with domestic-abuse survivors.