Spotify adds Covid content warnings to quell Joe Rogan’s boycott

Spotify said it would add content advisory warnings to podcasts discussing Covid-19 as the streaming service responded to a setback against its popular podcaster Joe Rogan.

However, the company has not removed the December 31 episode of Rogan’s podcast, which has sparked anger among hundreds of doctors and scientists as well as musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, who have pulled their music from Spotify in protest.

Rogan’s podcast, which hosted a virologist skeptical of mRNA coronavirus vaccines, did not reach the threshold of violating Spotify’s content rules, according to a company spokesman.

“Based on feedback from the last few weeks, it has become clear to me that we have a commitment to do more to provide balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities that guide us through this unprecedented time. , “CEO Daniel Daniel Ek wrote in a blog post Sunday.

Spotify is doing damage control after Young and Mitchell removed their music from their streaming service in protest of “lies” spread by Rogan. The company’s decision to keep the podcaster’s content spurred criticism online, with some social media accounts urging people to #DeleteSpotify.

Ek outlined the steps Spotify would take to address concerns that the platform was spreading false information about coronavirus. He said Spotify would add content advice to any podcast that discussed Covid-19, which would direct listeners to a new coronavirus hub that would provide facts and information as well as links to “reliable sources”.

Spotify also announced its internal rules for the content on its platform.

In addition to the rules on hate speech or harassment, the Code specifies that violations may include “content that promotes dangerous false or dangerous misleading medical information that may cause offline harm or pose a direct threat to public health”.

Spotify in 2020 paid more than $ 100 million to bring Rogan’s podcast to its service, solely because it wanted to spread beyond music. Rogan has previously invited guests to his podcast with controversial opinions on coronavirus and politics.

Rogan’s December guest, Robert Malone, who has previously researched mRNA technology and is critical of its use in Covid-19 vaccines, has been banned from Twitter and YouTube for violating their misinformation policies. On his podcast, Rogan said he was “concerned” that Malone had become “silent.”

A group of doctors and scientists this month called on Spotify to “moderate misinformation” on its platform, arguing that false claims on Rogan’s podcasts have “extraordinarily dangerous consequences”.

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