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Spotify: Streaming giant announces plans to clamp down on Covid misinformation

Image source, Getty Images

Spotify says that it is working to add advisory warnings to any podcast on its platform that discusses Covid-19.

CEO Daniel Ek unveiled the plans to bar the streaming giant’s contributors from sharing “deceptive” information that could pose a threat to public health.

He said that the platform’s new advisory warning will redirect users to a data hub of coronavirus facts.

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The move follows criticism of its work with Joe Rogan, a US podcast host who has interviewed vaccine-sceptics.

In a statement posted to Spotify’s website, Mr Ek wrote that it has “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”.

Mr Ek said that the company will publish its “Platform Rules” which will include guidelines for creators on what the platform labels “dangerous” and “deceptive” content.

The new rules have been developed by the company in conjunction with a team of external experts and will be updated regularly, the Swedish billionaire said.

In recent weeks the company has come under scrutiny over the views of its star host, Joe Rogan, who agreed a $100 million deal to move his popular podcast exclusively onto the platform in late 2020.

Mr Rogan has discouraged vaccination in young people and promoted the use of the unproven anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat the virus.

This week, the musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell led a procession of artists demanding that their music be removed from the platform.

Mr Young called the site “the home of life-threatening Covid misinformation” in a post to his website on Wednesday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also relayed their “concerns” to Spotify over Covid misinformation but will continue to work with the platform.

In early January, a group of doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter to Spotify citing Rogan’s “concerning history” in discussing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Joe Rogan Experience is Spotify’s most popular podcast, with a reported 200 million downloads a month.

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