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Spotify, the music and podcast streaming service, recently announced that it would add a content advisory to any podcast discussing issues related to the coronavirus disease 2019 known as COVID-19, amidst complaints that it has allowed misinformation to spread on its platform.
The music streaming service said the content advisory will “direct listeners to its COVID-19 hub, which will provide access to data-based facts” and links to information from “trusted scientists and doctors.”
“To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform,” said Spotify in a press release, adding that it will begin rolling out worldwide over the next few days, Spotify said in a press release.
Spotify’s content advisory is one of several changes announced by the streaming service, which said it would also “publish its platform rules on the main website and test ways to ‘highlight’ the rules” so that creators learn what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Since the early days of the pandemic, Spotify has been “biased towards action,” said CEO Daniel Eck. He added that “I trust our policies, the research and expertise that inform their development, and our aspiration to apply them in a way that allows for broad debate and discussion, within the lines. We take this seriously and will continue to partner with experts and invest heavily in our platform functionality and product capabilities for the benefit of creators and listeners alike.”
The move comes after artists, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, recently “pulled their catalogs from Spotify,” urging the service to take action and remove content critical of vaccines, especially by American podcaster Joe Rogan. The move follows calls from medical professionals to the American podcaster to remove such content.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have also expressed their concerns about misinformation on Spotify but have confirmed their commitment to using the platform to publish their content.
Rogan has been “heavily criticized for spreading false information about vaccines, some of which by guests on his podcast.
A Spotify spokesperson previously said that the company has a responsibility to strike a balance between the listeners’ safety and creators’ freedom of expression. The spokesperson added that “Spotify has content policies and that it has removed more than 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid-19.”
Translated by Ahmed N. A. Almassri