Spotify to Add Content Advisories to Podcast Episodes That Discuss COVID-19

Spotify Your Daily Podcasts

Spotify has in the past few days come under intense criticism regarding how they handled misinformation shared on the Joe Rogan Experience(JRE) podcast. This has made some artists including Nils Lofgren, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell quit the streaming platform and have their music removed.

Concerns around medical disinformation had people deleting their accounts and made hashtags like #CancelSpotify, #ByeByeSpotify and #SpotifyDeleted trend on Twitter last week.

Spotify picked Joe Rogan over protests led by the musicians who had offered ultimatums. This choice wasn’t surprising as Joe Rogan brings Spotify a minimum ad spend of $1 million and advertisers who buy ads on the JRE podcast have to buy ads on Spotify’s catalogue too.

The podcast has controversial takes and the criticism including open letters from 270 global health professionals has pushed Spotify to now add COVID-19 content advisories to podcast episodes that discuss Covid-19. The advisory leads to Spotify’s COVID-19 hub that showcases credible and up-to-date information regarding the pandemic.

Spotify’s COVID-19 content policy and rules will also be publicly available and if the rules are broken, the streaming platform will remove said content and accounts will be suspended or banned for repeat offenders.

Here are some of the policies:

  • Content that point out that “AIDS, COVID-19, cancer or other serious life threatening diseases are a hoax or not real” will be prohibited
  • Content that encourages people “to purposely get infected with COVID-19 in order to build immunity
  • Content that suggests vaccines “are designed to cause death” isn’t allowed

It’s worth noting that Spotify will keep Joe Rogan’s latest episode where he tells 21-year-olds to not get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to Spotify, the podcast doesn’t come off as anti-vaccine. This is strange as Spotify has in the last removed songs and podcast episodes that spread COVID-29 misinformation.

To be clear, COVID-19 infects both the old and the young.

Tech platforms including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook labels and remove content that spreads COVID-19 misinformation while also providing links to official bodies that share relevant information.

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George Kamau
I brunch on consumer tech | first.last at techweez dot com