Spotify says it will add Covid-19 content advisory labels in response to the backlash caused by the Joe Rogan misinformation controversy.
The streaming giant has come under fire from collaborators including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as well as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, over a series of interviews conducted by Rogan on his Spotify podcast.
Young and Mitchell refused to partner with Rogan and pulled their music from the platform last week.
“It’s important to me that we don’t take the position of being content censors and at the same time make sure there are rules and consequences for those who violate them,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said Sunday, without mentioning Rogan for Name.
“Based on feedback in recent weeks, it is 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 to guide us in this unprecedented time. These problems are incredibly complex. We have heard them, especially those in the medical and scientific communities.”
Mr Ek said his company would publish the Spotify Platform Rules, which “guide all of our creators”.
The company will also announce Covid-9 warning labels that will take listeners to a dedicated Covid-1, which will present the latest information on the virus and the pandemic.
“This new effort to combat disinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind on a major podcast platform,” Mr. Ek wrote.
He added: We will also begin testing ways to highlight our Platform Rules in our creator and publisher tools to raise awareness of what is acceptable and help creators understand their responsibility for the content they post on our platform.”
Spotify took action after weeks of criticism of Rogan’s interviews, which have been heavily criticized by scientists and public health officials, who urged Spotify to do more to prevent misinformation.
Young asked Spotify to choose between his music and Rogan’s exclusive content.
“Spotify has recently become a very damaging force through its public misinformation and lies about COVID,” Young wrote.
“I first became aware of this issue reading that over 200 doctors had joined forces, taking on the dangerous life-threatening COVID falsehoods found in Spotify programming.”
On Sunday, Harry and Meghan’s producer Archwell, who has a deal with Spotify, said she had raised her “concerns” with the company, without mentioning Rogan.
“Last April, our co-founders began raising concerns with our Spotify partners about the all-too-real consequences of misinformation about COVID-19 on their platform,” an Archewell spokesperson said in a statement.
“We continue to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes are made to their platform to help address this public health crisis.”
“We hope that Spotify lives up to this moment and we are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”