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Spotify to add content advisory to podcasts discussing COVID-19

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Spotify to add content advisory to podcasts discussing COVID-19
Spotify's announcement coincides with the publication of its platform rules, which are meant to guide content creators as to what's acceptable on the platform
Spotify to add content advisory to podcasts discussing COVID-19

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced plans on Sunday, January 30, to add a content advisory to any podcast episodes including discussions about COVID-19.

In a blog post, Ek said the company’s planned content 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.”

“This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform,” he added.

The announcement coincides with the publication of the service’s platform rules which are meant to guide content creators as to what’s acceptable on the platform.

The announcement follows some high-profile departures from the service.

Musician Neil Young removed his music from the platform after demanding Spotify remove Joe Rogan’s podcast The Joe Rogan Experience for spreading disinformation about vaccines, with Joni Mitchell following suit in support of Young. Author and professor Brené Brown also said she will stop producing new episodes of her Spotify podcasts, though she did not discuss the reason for her stopping production of new podcast episodes.

The Joe Rogan Experience has stirred controversy by being a platform for Rogan’s views on the pandemic, government mandates, and vaccines. The podcast was said to have been licensed by Spotify back in 2020 for over $100 million.

Shortly after Spotify’s announcement, Rogan addressed the concerns with his podcast in an Instagram post and on Twitter, “pledging to try harder to get people with differing opinions on” topics being discussed. He also pledged to “do my best to make sure I’ve researched these topics.”

“It’s a strange responsibility to have this many viewers and listeners,” Rogan said, adding, “It’s nothing that I’ve prepared for. I’m going to do my best to balance things out.”

In a Wall Street Journal report citing a person familiar with the matter, Spotify does not appear to have removed any of the episodes which highlighted potential disinformation about COVID-19. – Rappler.com

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.