BTS “Butter” Streams Filtered Out Prompting Fans Make ‘#InvestigateSpotify’ Twitter Trend

BTS ARMYs have rallied in criticism of the music streaming service Spotify due to the claims that the platform is filtering out how often they listen to the group’s new single ‘Butter.’

Credit: Courtesy of BTS | Twitter


The music video for “Butter”, on YouTube alone, has attracted more than 200 million views despite being uploaded just few days ago on 21st May.

ARMYs are trying to increase the song’s popularity even further in a coordinated effort to stream the song as many platforms as they can and play it on repeat, as evidenced by online streaming guidelines posted by a fan group that boasts over 80,000 followers on Twitter.

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Recently, fans have become enraged at the streaming service Spotify for allegedly filtering many of their streams and not counting them. Filtering means that the service has been ruling or classifying some streams on the platform as fake, spam, or anything else that makes them believe it is not legitimate.

Much of the fans’ data has been collected by BHF Data Analytics, a Twitter account that is a division of Borahae Funds, a group of fans who pride themselves on collecting user analytics, funding, and business intelligence for the group’s activities.

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The fan group has claimed numbers have been falling over the past few days, giving rise to suspicions over how the streaming service filters out stream it does not consider legitimate.

Spotify, as a streaming service, may have a system in place to prevent AI bots from automatically streaming songs in order to artificially boost an artist’s popularity, something that Spotify explicitly prohibits according to their policy.

ARMYs, on the other hand, say that the Spotify’s system is getting in the way of what they see as a legitimate way to supporting the artist they like.

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Community board of Spotify has received multiple posts since this past weekend, calling for more transparency over how the platform filters out certain streams based on their policy.

One community board user stated: “It is unfair to artists and their listeners to discriminate streams on behalf of what an algorithm considers ‘proper streaming.’”

“If a user is deemed verified and human to make a payment, why cannot they loop and still get their streams counted?” wrote another user.

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Furthermore, complaints about the filtering issue of Spotify gave rise to the hashtag #InvestigateSpotify on Twitter.

Another Twitter user posted what appears to be an email response from the Spotify support team, in which a Spotify representative confirms that platform does filter out streams “to make sure that all streams are legitimate” but could not provide any details as to how.

Spotify’s user agreement, in section 9, specifies that “artificially increasing play counts” by using an automated process “or any other means” is not permitted, adding confusion as to how this is defined according to their house rules.

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