Spotify Technology SA unveiled various steps to stop the spread of misleading information about Covid-19 on its audio-streaming service. The Swedish digital music service said it is working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19 aiming to combat misinformation.
The move by Spotify reportedly is an attempt to stop a growing controversy over its popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who allegedly conveyed false information about Covid-19 vaccines on podcasts. Folk singers Neil Young and Joni Mitchell last week pulled their music from Spotify in protest of Rogan.
As per reports, a group of 270 scientists and medical professionals recently signed a letter asking the company to take action against Rogan for the same concerns.
Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan also expressed their concern about Covid-19 misinformation on Spotify platform.
In a blog post, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said, “You’ve had a lot of questions over the last few days about our platform policies and the lines we have drawn between what is acceptable and what is not. .. We know we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with the safety of our users. In that role, it is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.”
The company said its new content advisory will direct listeners to COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities, as well as links to trusted sources. This new effort will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days.
The company has also published its long-standing Platform Rules to guide all creators. They are localized into various languages to help users understand how Spotify assesses all content on its platform. The policies, which were developed in concert with a number of outside experts, are updated regularly to reflect the changing safety landscape. They can be found on newsroom, and will live permanently on the main Spotify website.
The company said it will begin testing ways to highlight Platform Rules in its creator and publisher tools to raise awareness around what’s acceptable. It will also help creators understand their accountability for the content they post on Spotify platform.
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