Spotify to add content advisories after COVID-19 misinformation backlash

Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren have removed their music from the streaming service following

Daniel Ek

Image: Antoine Antoniol / Getty Images

Spotify is adding content advisories to any podcast episode that features COVID-19 discussions, following backlash from misinformation spread by the streaming service’s Joe Rogan Experience.

The move comes after Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren pulled their music from the streaming service. Young demanded the company last week to either drop his music or remove podcaster Joe Rogan after a call from medical experts and scientists to prevent Rogan from supposedly endorsing “several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines.”

In response, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has outlined the company’s plan to tackle COVID-19 misinformation on its platform. “We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19,” Ek said in a statement.

“This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource 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.”

Ek added that Spotify’s new policy to “combat misinformation” will be launched worldwide in the coming days.

Spotify has also made its Platform Rules viewable by everyone for the first time, in an effort to highlight “what’s acceptable and to help creators understand their accountability.”

Among prohibited content are those that “promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health.”

This includes “asserting that AIDS, COVID-19, cancer or other serious life-threatening diseases are a hoax or not real,” “promoting or suggesting that vaccines approved by local health authorities are designed to cause death,” and “encouraging people to purposely get infected with COVID-19 in order to build immunity to it (e.g. promoting or hosting “coronavirus parties”).”

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