Spotify to Add Content Advisory to Podcasts That Discuss COVID-19

Audio streaming giant Spotify announced on Jan. 30 that it will add a content advisory to podcasts that discuss COVID-19 amid a boycott on its service due to virus misinformation.

Spotify Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said in a statement that the advisory will direct listeners to their COVID-19 hub, which provides data-driven facts, up-to-date information from scientists and health authorities, and links to trusted sources.

Ek said that the rollout will begin around the world in the coming days.

“To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform,” Ek added.

The move was one of several changes that Spotify announced.

Spotify will also publish its platform rules on its main website and will test ways to “highlight” the rules to let creators know “what’s acceptable” and help them “understand their accountability for the content they post on our platform.”

The announcement came amid complaints that Spotify was allowing COVID-19 misinformation to spread on its platform.

Several musicians, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, pulled their catalogs from Spotify in protest over Joe Rogan’s podcast, which has been criticized for spreading misinformation about vaccines.

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately today that I want all my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young said in a since-deleted open letter last week, Rolling Stone reported.

On Jan. 28, Mitchell joined Young in removing her music from Spotify, saying, “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Mitchell attached an open letter to Spotify from global scientific and medical communities to implement a misinformation policy.

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