Spotify to direct listeners to correct COVID-19 information; will add ‘content advisory’ warnings to podcasts discussing the pandemic

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has announced that the platform will direct listeners to correct Covid-19 information on any and all podcasts discussing the pandemic. The announcement comes in the wake of the company losing billions in market value, after musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removed their music from the platform in protest at podcasters such as Joe Rogan sharing misinformation to millions of listeners.

Ek released a statement outlining the streaming platform’s plan to battle misinformation on the podcasts it hosts. Content advisories will be added to any podcast that discusses coronavirus directing users to a website 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.” Spotify also revealed guidlines for creators to the public for the first time, saying that creators cannot publish “content that promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health.” 

When announcing his decision to pull his music from the platform, Neil Young singled out Rogan and a conversation he had with cardiologist Dr Peter McCullough and immunologist/virologist Dr Robert Malone on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Rogan’s podcast is downloaded an average of 11 million times per episode and is exclusive to Spotify as part of a $100 million deal the company has with Rogan.  In an Instagram video published on Monday, Rogan issued a statement about the controversy, saying “I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”  Rogan added he will do his best “try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives, so we can maybe find a better point of view.”

Editorial credit: Diego Thomazini / Shutterstock.com

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