Spotify has bowed to pressure from critics for aiding the spread of COVID and vaccine misinformation with plans to add a warning label on its global platform to content that divides the line between “what what is acceptable and what is not,” as CEO Daniel Ek stated Sunday.
Ek .’s long sentence outlining Spotify’s official content policies reacting to a storm of criticism and calls for a boycott of the streaming service that has seen artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell demand their music be removed from the platform, accusing the company of supporting the spread misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccinations.
In his statement, Ek vowed that Spotify would post warnings on podcast episodes that include conversations about COVID-19. Notably, Ek did not name any of the content creators in the statement.
“Based on feedback over the past few weeks, it becomes clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to generally accepted information from the medical and scientific communities. lead us through this unprecedented time. These problems are extremely complex. We heard from you – especially those from the medical and scientific communities,” Ek wrote in a statement posted on Spotify’s website.
Earlier in the year, several public health officials urged Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing the very popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast of possessing a “history of broadcasting misinformation, especially regarding its to the COVID-19 pandemic”. Rogan’s show is currently the most listened to podcast on the audio streaming service. Rogan signed a $100 million deal in May 2020, giving Spotify exclusive distribution rights (though not ownership) of his podcast.
Last Wednesday, Young released a statement demanding his music be removed from the streaming service, leveling the accusations against Spotify (“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young wrote in an open letter posted on his website). Spotify responded by removing Young’s music from the platform afterward. Joni Mitchell followed Young on Friday by asking for her music to be removed from the platform, saying, “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global medical and scientific community on this issue.”
Young writes: “Spotify has recently become a very damaging force due to disinformation and public lies about COVID. “I first became aware of this issue when I read that over 200 doctors joined forces to perform the dangerous, life-threatening COVID spoofing found in the Spotify program.”
There has been a wave of speculation that Young and Mitchell’s exit from Spotify is likely to trigger a larger exodus from the platform of musicians and content creators.
See Ek’s full statement below.
“A decade ago, we created Spotify to allow listeners around the world to listen to and enjoy the work of creators around the world. At our core, we believe that listening is everything. Pick almost any issue and you’ll find people and opinions on both sides of it. Personally, there are many individuals and opinions about Spotify that I disagree with. We know we have an important role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with user safety. In that role, it’s important to me that we don’t take the position of moderating content while also ensuring that there are rules in place and consequences for those who break them.
“You’ve had a lot of questions over the past few days about our platform policies and the line we’ve drawn between what’s acceptable and what’s not. We’ve had rules for many years, but admittedly we haven’t been transparent about our content guidelines policies more broadly. This led to questions surrounding their app for serious issues including COVID-19.
“Based on feedback over the past few weeks, it becomes clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to generally accepted information from the medical and scientific communities. lead us through this unprecedented time. These problems are extremely complex. We’ve heard from you – especially those from the medical and scientific communities – and are taking the following steps:
“Today we are publishing our longstanding Foundation Rules. These policies are developed by our internal team in conjunction with a number of external experts and are updated regularly to reflect the changing safety landscape. These are the rules that guide all of our creators — from those we work with exclusively to those whose work is shared across multiple platforms. You can now find them on our newsroom and they will live forever on the main Spotify website. They are being localized into various languages to help our users understand how Spotify rates all content on our platform.
“We are working to add content advice to any podcast episodes that discuss COVID-19. This advice directs listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information shared by scientists , doctors, scholars and public health authorities worldwide, as well as links to trusted sources. This new effort to combat misinformation will be rolled out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advice is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform.
“We’ll also begin testing ways to highlight our Platform Rules in our creator and publisher tools to raise awareness of what’s acceptable and help people creatives understand their accountability for the content they post on our platform. This is in addition to the terms creators and publishers agree to govern their use of our services.
“I want you to know that from the very first days of the pandemic, Spotify has been about action. We have launched various educational resources and campaigns to raise awareness, and we have developed and promoted the Global COVID-19 Information Hub. We’ve donated inventory to various organizations to raise awareness about vaccines, funds to the World Health Organization and COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) to raise capital vaccine owners and support the Go Give One fundraising campaign. And we’ve set up a music relief project to support the creative community. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, I hope it gives you a sense of how seriously we’ve approached the pandemic as a company.
“I trust our policies, the research and expertise that inform their development, and our aspirations to apply them in a way that allows for broad debate and discussion. , internally. We take this matter seriously and will continue to partner with experts and invest heavily in our platform functionality and product capabilities for the benefit of our creators and listeners alike. That doesn’t mean we always get it right, but we are committed to learning, growing, and growing.”
https://variety.com/2022/digital/news/spotify-daniel-ek-joe-rogan-neil-young-covid-1235167193/ Spotify CEO opposes COVID misinformation, Joe Rogan Controversy