Spotify will add ‘content advisory’ warnings to COVID material going forwards.
The streaming giant is in troubled waters, with the decision to allow Joe Rogan to broadcast a controversial anti-vaxx podcast causing an uproar.
Neil Young pulled his catalogue from the service, citing COVID misinformation, and was swiftly followed suit by fellow songwriting icon Joni Mitchell.
With $2 billion wiped from Spotify’s market value in seven days, founder Daniel Ek has now published Spotify’s platform rules.
In it, he writes: “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.”
Spotify intends to post ‘content advisory’ warnings alongside COVID material, directing listeners to their “dedicated COVID-19 hub”.
He continues: “I want you to know that from the very first days of the pandemic, Spotify has been biased toward action. We launched a variety of educational resources and campaigns to raise awareness and we developed and promoted a global COVID-19 Information Hub. We donated ad inventory to various organizations for vaccine awareness, funds to the World Health Organization and COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) to increase vaccine equity and supported the Go Give One fundraising campaign. And we established a music relief project to support the creative community. While this is not a complete list, I hope it gives you a sense of how seriously we’ve approached the pandemic as a company.”
Daniel Ek ends: “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. 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. That doesn’t mean that we always get it right, but we are committed to learning, growing and evolving.”
As many users have pointed out, however, the lengthy statement does not address the material on Joe Rogan’s podcast, while the “dedicated COVID-19 hub” is currently so poorly laid out that it also manages to include Thomas & Friends Storytime, Tiger King, and other completely inexplicable additions.
Spotify aims to “combat misinformation” but won’t “take on the position of being content censor” – and that includes Thomas the Tank Engine, it seems.
Find the statement HERE.