Spotify Adding COVID-19 Content Advisories to Podcast Episodes to ‘Combat Misinformation’

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Spotify will be adding content advisories to podcast episodes in an effort to combat misinformation about COVID-19, the company’s chief executive officer, Daniel Ek has announced.

In a blog post published on Jan. 30, the Swedish audio streaming service said it was “working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.”

The planned advisory comes shortly after Spotify removed Neil Young’s music from the site when the singer accused podcaster Joe Rogan of spreading false information about coronavirus vaccines and “potentially causing death.”

After giving the company an ultimatum between getting rid of Rogan, who hosts Spotify’s top-rated podcast, or him, Spotify announced on Jan. 27 that it would remove Young’s songs from its service.

In Sunday’s blog post, Spotify said that when implemented, its new advisory will direct listeners to a COVID hub where they can find “data-driven facts” and “up-to-date information” from scientists, physicians, academics public health authorities, and other “trusted sources.”

Currently, the COVID hub contains podcasts from sources such as the BBC, Politico, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and other mainstream media sources.

Spotify said the new content advisory will be rolled out to users across the world within the coming days and “is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform.”

“Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time. These issues are incredibly complex,” Ek wrote in the post.

“Personally, there are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly. 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,” Ek said.

Elsewhere in Sunday’s blog post, Spotify said it was also publishing existing platform rules which will help creators understand how Spotify assesses all content on its platform.

By Katabella Roberts

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