Spotify announced Sunday that it will be adding a “content advisory” warning to any podcasts that feature discussions about COVID-19.
The streaming service made the announcement on its For the Record blog, Rolling Stone reported. The move comes after musicians Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren pulled their music from Spotify over the platform’s decision to continue episodes from controversial podcaster Joe Rogan.
“You’ve had a lot of questions over the last few days about our platform policies and the lines we have drawn between what is acceptable and what is not,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote. “We have had rules in place for many years but admittedly, we haven’t been transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly. This, in turn, led to questions around their application to serious issues including COVID-19.
“Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time. These issues are incredibly complex. We’ve heard you – especially those from the medical and scientific communities.”
Ek’s statement did not reference the musicians or Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The newly published Platform Rules noted that Spotify bars its contributors from “content that promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health.”
That includes “asserting that AIDS, COVID-19, cancer or other serious life-threatening diseases are a hoax or not real,” “encouraging the consumption of bleach products to cure various illnesses and diseases” and “promoting or suggesting that vaccines approved by local health authorities are designed to cause death.”
The content advisory will direct listeners to Spotify’s COVID-19 Hub, which will provide “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.”
“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,” Ek wrote on the blog. “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.”
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