Spotify will add a ‘content warning’ to COVID-19 podcast episodes

Deepak Gupta January 30, 2022
Updated 2022/01/30 at 9:43 PM

After days of controversy stemming from Spotify’s handling of allegations that Joe Rogan used the platform to spread misinformation about COVID-19, the company said Sunday that it would take further steps to direct its users to accurate information about the pandemic. On a attributed to CEO Daniel Ek, the company admitted that it was not transparent enough about its content policy, but did not elaborate on any specific action against Rogan.

At some point in the next few days, Spotify says it will add a content notice to any podcast episode that includes a discussion of COVID-19. This advice will direct the listeners to the company . In its current iteration, the page includes links to podcasts from BBC, ABC news and foreign policy. “To the best of our knowledge, this content notice is the first of its kind from a major podcast platform,” according to Ek. However, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have employed similar measures.

Spotify has also committed to publicly sharing its content guidelines. Starting today, you can read them through the company newsroom . In the future, they will also be accessible through Spotify’s main website, and the company has promised to translate them into several other languages. Finally, the company says it plans to start testing ways to highlight its content guidelines in the tools it offers podcast producers and other creators.

“We know we have a critical role to play in supporting the creator’s expression, balancing it with the safety of our users,” said Ek. “In this role, it’s important to me that we don’t take a stand to censor content, while making sure there are rules and consequences for those who violate them.”

The action comes after musicians pulled their music from the streaming platform in protest at Rogan’s handling of the podcast and misinformation more broadly. Earlier today, the author said that she would not be releasing new episodes of her Spotify-exclusive podcast “until further notice.”

After Young withdrew its catalog from the platform, the company defended its track record against misinformation claiming it had removed 20,000 COVID-related episodes since the start of the pandemic. However, as part of this sweep, Spotify does not appear to have removed any episodes from Joe Rogan’s Experience. For example, you can still hear the controversial episode where Dr. Robert Malone falsely claims that “mass-forming psychosis” has led people to believe that vaccines are effective against COVID-19. subsequently published the . In an internal memo, Spotify said that Rogan’s content “has not reached the threshold for removal.”

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