Spotify Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said that every podcast episode that involves discussion of COVID-19 will be labelled with a “content alert,” following criticism from rock and folk luminaries for giving voice to disinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.
According to Ek in a blog post published on Sunday, “this new initiative to battle disinformation will spread out to nations throughout the world in the coming days.” “To our knowledge, this is the first time a major podcast platform has issued a content advisory of this nature.”
A representative for the Archewell foundation, which is run by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, said on Sunday that the couple had also communicated their worry to Spotify about COVID-19 disinformation being spread on its platform and that they were dedicated to continuing to engage with the firm.
Upon hearing the advice, listeners will be directed to a COVID-19 portal, which will include facts and information from medical and health professionals, as well as connections to reputable sources.
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The action follows the announcement by singer-songwriters Neil Young and Joni Mitchell that they will be deleting their music from Spotify in protest of the popular streaming service’s allowing the spread of false information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.
Young took issue with his music being streamed on the same platform as Joe Rogan’s top-rated podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which he felt was infringing on his intellectual property. In his role as a notable vaccination sceptic, Rogan has sparked debate with his viewpoints on the flu pandemic, government mandates, and the use of vaccines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
More than 270 academics and medical experts signed a letter to Spotify earlier this month, demanding the streaming service to take action against Rogan, accusing him of promoting lies on his podcast.
Brene Brown, best-selling author and host of the Spotify-exclusive podcasts Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead, announced in a tweet on Saturday that she would “not be publishing any podcasts till further notice.”
According to Ek’s blog post, Spotify is also issuing regulations for its authors on the site itself.
According to him, “We recognise that we have an important role to play in enabling creator expression while also balancing it with the safety of our users. When we are in that position, it is critical to me that we do not assume the role of content censor while simultaneously ensuring that there are standards in place and penalties for those who break them.”