Spotify publishes steps to tackle Covid-19 misinformation

Spotify’s chief executive has announced a set of new measures to address Covid-19 misinformation on its platform following backlash from a number of musicians.

The move comes after Neil Young and Joni Mitchell asked to have their music taken off the streaming app when Spotify refused to remove Joe Rogan’s podcast, which the musicians say spreads coronavirus and vaccine misinformation.

Last week, Young wrote an open letter which said that they could either have his music or Rogan’s podcast on the platform.

Mitchell said on her official website that “irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives”.

In a blog post, Daniel Ek, chief executive of Spotify, wrote: "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.”

The first step the company has taken is to publicly post its platform rules. The rules – which have been developed by Spotify’s internal team alongside outside experts – apply to all of its contributors.

The chief exec said that it is also working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about Covid-19.

“This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources,” said Ek.

Spotify will also begin testing ways to highlight its rules in its creator and publisher tools to raise awareness around what’s acceptable and help creators understand their accountability for the content they post on the platform platform. This is in addition to the terms that creators and publishers agree to governing their use of the company’s services.

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