Spotify makes public platform rules that cover misinformation about Covid-19. Will that be enough?
Spotify makes public platform rules that cover misinformation about Covid-19.  Will that be enough?

Spotify makes public platform rules that cover misinformation about Covid-19. Will that be enough?

Spotify said it’s adding content advice to any podcast episode that includes discussion of Covid-19. The advice will lead listeners to a Covid-19 hub that will include links to trusted sources, the company said.

Spotify will also, for the first time, publicly announce its long-standing platform rules, which were originally developed by its in-house team.

“These are traffic rules to guide all of our creators – from those we work with exclusively to those whose work is shared across multiple platforms,” ​​said CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek in a statement.

The growing list of musicians and personalities calling Spotify follows Neil Young and then Joni Mitchell, asking to have their music removed from the platform.

Spotify is the exclusive host of the popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience”, about which Covid-19 vaccine misinformation has been spread

“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 are guiding us through this unprecedented time,” Ek said.

Nils Lofgren, who was part of Bruce Springeteen’s E Street Band and Crazy Horse, also announced that he was taking his music from Spotify, urging all “musicians, artists and music lovers” to disconnect from the platform to support health professionals.

“When these heroic men and women who have spent their lives healing and saving ours cry for help, you do not turn your back on them for money and power,” Lofgren and his wife, Amy, said in a announcement. “You listen and stand with them.”
A spokesman for Archewell, the fund run by Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, said the couple has expressed concern to Spotify over Covid-19 misinformation.

“We are looking to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does,” the spokesman added. The statement did not specifically mention Rogan’s show.

And Brenè Brown, who is behind “Unlocking Us” and “Dare to Lead,” tweeted Saturday that she has so far not released any podcasts.

Is it effective to ban disseminators of misinformation?

In Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter asked if there should be a more realistic way to tackle this “dirty mole of prohibition”.

Culture writer Kat Rosenfield compared Rogan to a “weed that sprang up outside the mainstream media.” Even though the host is de-platformed, she said, his fans will still listen to him and there would not be a dent in the spread of his messages. And those fans still would not trust mainstream news sources.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” is currently the most popular podcast in USA and UK on Spotify.

“People are basically angry about not being able to prevent their audience from wanting news that is bad for them,” Rosenfield said.

She added that the basic question is whether Rogan’s listeners will seek more credible information if the host is fired from Spotify.

Ek said in the statement that there are “lots of individuals and views” he strongly disagrees with on the platform.

“It is important to me that we do not take on the position of content censor and at the same time make sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them,” Ek said.

CNN’s Max Foster, Vasco Cotovio and Rob Picheta contributed to this report.


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