The Huffington Post has responded to growing questions about its decision to ‘unpublish’ an article criticizing Spotify.
Why did they pull the article down?
Why aren’t they putting it back up?
Is the CEO of the Huffington Post somehow implicated?
These are just a few of the questions surrounding the Huffington Post’s extremely suspicious removal of an article critical of Spotify.
The Huffington Post — or ‘HuffPost’ as it’s now called — originally removed a contributor’s article about Spotify. They cited a violation of its editorial policies. Specifically, the publication stated that it was unable to verify an interaction between the article’s author — Blake Morgan — and members of Spotify’s staff.
The conversation itself was unflattering of the Spotify employees. The article was also resoundingly critical of the way the streaming platform treats artists.
Morgan subsequently pointed to numerous independent verifications of the conversation. But by that point, numerous copies of the original article were going viral, and the Huffington Post’s reasoning looked fishy.
HuffPo CEO Jared Grusd’s role has also been called into question, specifically given his previous employment at the streaming giant.
Specifically, critics questioned whether Grusd himself called for the removal. Grusd was formerly General Counsel and Global Head of Corporate Development at Spotify, with friendly ties back to the company (see above). The previous employment also raises questions of financial ties and conflicts of interests, including the possibility that Grusd has a tranche of Spotify shares.
Early Wednesday afternoon, a HuffPost representative denied that Grusd played any role in the removal. Here’s the statement offered by Caitlin O’Neill of HuffPost’s owner Oath, Inc., itself owned by Verizon Communications.
Accordingly, we asked why the piece hasn’t been reinstated given independent verifications obtained by Blake Morgan. O’Neill has not yet responded.