Spotify is implementing tighter measures to curb COVID-19 misinformation on the platform after facing major backlash from several creators.
Spotify is adding a content advisory to all podcast episodes that discuss anything related to COVID-19. The move is part of the streaming giant’s drive to curb misinformation about the global pandemic.
Read on for more details on why Spotify is adding a content advisory label to COVID-19 related podcasts and if the company is doing enough to tackle the issue.
Spotify Is Adding a Content Advisory to Select Podcasts
Spotify is adding COVID-19 content advisories to all podcast episodes touching on the sensitive subject in a push to tackle misinformation on the platform around the pandemic. In a blog post, Daniel Ek, the CEO and Founder of the Swedish streaming service, said:
“We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19. This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated 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 around the world, as well as links to trusted sources.”
According to Ek, this move is a first of its kind on a major podcast platform.
Why Spotify Is Adding a Content Advisory to COVID-19-Related Podcasts
Spotify’s COVID-19 content advisories arrive on time, just a few weeks after the streaming giant faced backlash for the way it is handling COVID-19 misinformation. On January 10, 2022, a coalition of over 200 medical professionals and scientists called on Spotify to implement a misinformation policy in an open letter.
The letter also criticized how the streaming platform handled controversial content posted by Joe Rogan’s Spotify-exclusive podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. The coalition argued that the company is responsible for mitigating the spread of misinformation on its platform. Given that, the coalition urged Spotify to immediately implement a clear and publicly available misinformation policy to help tackle misinformation.
In protest of The Joe Rogan Experience, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Nils Lofgren have removed their music from the streaming platform. Another Spotify-exclusive podcaster Brené Brown is taking time off from releasing new episodes of her two shows, “Dare to Lead” and “Unlocking Us,” until further notice.
Is a Content Advisory Enough to Curb COVID-19 Misinformation?
There’s no way a content advisory label is enough to curb misinformation. This applies to anything, not just COVID-19 alone. Social media platforms have had content advisories on any post mentioning COVID-19 after criticism, but to date, they’re not free of misinformation about the pandemic.
Spotify acknowledges this fact, and it’s no surprise that the streaming giant has now established publicly accessible platform rules to specify what is allowed and what is not. The company partnered with “a number of outside experts” to lay these new rules and says it’ll continue to update them if needed. With all these changes in place, Spotify believes it can curb COVID-19 misinformation on the platform.
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