Spotify’s CEO responded on Sunday to growing complaints from musicians and listeners about the role of Joe Rogan, the streaming service’s star podcaster, in spreading what has been widely criticized as disinformation about the coronavirus. Last week, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell — two music icons whose cultural influence far outweighs their streaming numbers — have removed their music from Spotify in protest of the platform’s support of Rogan.
“We know we have an important role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with user safety,” wrote CEO Daniel Ek, who is also one of the founders of Spotify. in one public letter. “In that role, it’s important to me that we don’t take the position of moderating content while at the same time ensuring that there are rules in place and consequences for those who break them.”
Ek did not specifically mention Rogan, who complained about his interviews with vaccine skeptics. This month, a group of more than 200 professors and public health officials called on Spotify to tackle Covid-19 misinformation on its platform, and pointed to a recent episode of Rogan’s podcast featuring Dr. Malone, an infectious disease specialist, which includes “several biases about the Covid-19 vaccine,” according to the experts’ letter.
Last week, Young and Mitchell cited those complaints when they removed their music from Spotify, sparking a debate across the music industry about the role artists play in deciding where to listen to their music. . Young calls Spotify “the home of life-threatening Covid misinformation”; Mitchell wrote, “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that cost people their lives.” In response, many users have taken to social media to express support for Young and Mitchell and say they are canceling their Spotify subscriptions, though the service did not say how many accounts have been canceled. The goal is to create lively conversations, not to promote misinformation, and that he will do his best in the future to “balance things out.”
In an almost 10 minute video posted on InstagramRogan said he would be open to “more experts with different opinions as soon as I have controversial opinions.”
He added: “My point in doing this is to always create interesting conversations and conversations that I hope people will enjoy.”
Rogan, a comedian and actor, signed an exclusive podcast deal with Spotify in 2020, reportedly worth $100 million, though Spotify hasn’t confirmed that figure. His podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” is the service’s most popular.
Coronavirus pandemic: What you need to know
The Rogan podcast dispute has sparked renewed debate over questions about free speech on the internet and about political polarization in the coronavirus era. Technology and social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have been accused by many of playing a key role in spreading misinformation about viruses and vaccines to prevent it. But some free speech advocates have also defended these establishments for allowing open debate and services such as Facebook and YouTube. tout their profile belong to knock down what they consider to be blatant misinformation.
Ek said that Spotify will add a “content advisory” message to any podcast episode that discusses the coronavirus, directing listeners to “Covid-19 Center“With facts and information. That hub includes links to health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as podcasts from news sources like the BBC, CNN, and ABC News.
Ek also wrote that the first service was publish its foundation rules, which refers to dangerous, deceptive, sensitive, and illegal content. Among them are rules that prohibit “content that promotes dangerous fake health information or dangerous scams that may cause offline harm or pose a direct threat to public health,” including denial of the existence of Covid-19 or content that “advertises or suggests that vaccines approved by local health authorities are designed to cause death. ”
On Wednesday, when Spotify began removing Young’s music, the company said it had “deleted more than 20,000 episodes of Covid-related podcasts since the start of the pandemic.” Rogan’s episode with Dr. Malone is still available on Spotify.
Jenny Gross contribution report.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/30/arts/music/spotify-joe-rogan-ceo.html Spotify and Joe Rogan Respond to Lively Misinformation Complaints