Spotify Announces Content Warnings For Podcast Episodes About COVID-19 Amid Misinformation Boycott

Spotify Announces Content Warnings For Podcast Episodes About Covid-19 Amid Misinformation Boycott

Many famous people and artists have spoken out against Spotify, with some of them removing their content from the platform due to COVID-19 misinformation. This has forced the streaming platform to say something about the controversy.

The service now wants to prevent the use of the platform from spreading inaccurate information about the coronavirus, particularly about the vaccines. That is why it has decided to include content advisory to any podcast episode that talks about the COVID-19.

The news was announced by the streaming service's CEO, Daniel Ek.

The purpose of the advisory is to make listeners visit Spotify's COVID-19 Hub. This resource offers factual and up-to-date information from scientists, physicians, academics, and health authorities worldwide. The resource will also give users access to links to reliable sources.

On top of this, Spotify will put in place "long-standing" platform rules which will help guide content creators. An internal team put the rules together with the assistance of external experts.

Spotify Announces Content Warnings For Podcast Episodes About Covid-19 Amid Misinformation Boycott

The rules discourage creators from putting up content that promotes "dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information" that could lead to harm offline or pose a threat to public health.

Some of the information the platform now discourages includes claims that AIDS, COVID-19, cancer, or other serious diseases are nothing but a hoax. Content creators are also no longer allowed to suggest that the vaccines being used after their endorsement by local health authorities are designed to kill.

The platform also discourages creators from insisting that people should get infected with COVID-19 on purpose as a way to build immunity. Creators who encourage people to consume bleach products as a way to cure various types of diseases will also not be tolerated on the platform going forward.

Spotify has explained that those in violation of these rules will be taken off the platform. Nevertheless, the platform will keep the context in mind while enforcing these rules.

Ek said that the changes had been introduced in response to a desire to do more to ensure balance and access to widely-accepted information from medical and scientific communities with regard to the guidelines they are offering the public at the moment.

Before the announcement was made, Neil Young had demanded that his music be removed from the platform.

Young argued that Rogan, 54, was spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic on his podcast, Joe Rogan Experience.

People believe that Joe Rogan had something to do with Spotify's decision to introduce new guidelines for content creators with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young stated that he had arrived at the decision because the platform was spreading fake information about vaccines. He argued that this could potentially lead to the death of those who believe the misinformation.

He urged the platform to take action immediately and keep him updated on the time schedule.

According to news outlets, Young had said:

"I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both."

Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren also joined Young in having their music removed from the streaming platform. 70-year-old Lofgren said that he had gotten "the last 27 years" of his music removed from the platform in order to sabotage the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19.

Lofgren wrote that he was aware that Young had taken a stand and joined several professionals in the healthcare sector, scientists, and doctors who were criticizing Spotify for promoting lies and misinformation that was causing harm and death to people.

He pointed out that the heroic men and women who had spent their lives healing and serving others should not be ignored for the sake of money and power. Lofgren had most of his music taken down, and he also reached out to labels that own his earlier work to have that music removed as well.

Lofgren is a friend of Young, and he said that their friendship was 53-years-old. He felt that standing with him and others who had made a similar decision was the right thing to do. He also encouraged other musicians, artists, and music lovers to take a similar stand and cut ties with Spotify.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also criticized the streaming platform, which they believe should take care of the "serious harms" COVID misinformation causes. The two got into an exclusive multi-year podcast deal with the company in 2020.

In a statement, Prince Harry said that their co-founders expressed concerns to their partners at Spotify regarding COVID-19 misinformation on the platform. Since then, they have expressed their concerns to the streaming platform to make sure changes are implemented as a way to ensure the public health crisis is addressed.

Nevertheless, Harry said that they were still committed to working together with Spotify even as they addressed these issues.

The Spotify controversy started with a group of 270 scientists, medical professionals, and professors writing an open letter to Spotify on New Year's Eve asking for a misinformation policy.

The letter argued that allowing the spreading of false information was making hosted media cause damage to public trust with regard to scientific research and the data-driven guidance medical professionals were offering.

The letter called out Rogan due to his attempts to discourage young people and children from taking the vaccine by saying that mRNA vaccines are "gene therapy" while promoting a remedy that the FDA warned against.

Joe Rogan had about 11 million listeners per episode, which the letter noted meant he had a lot of influence. They argued that he was causing distrust in science and medicine.