Spotify to Add ‘Content Advisory’ over Coronavirus Misinformation

Daniel Ek, CEO of Swedish music streaming service Spotify, gestures as he makes a speech at a press conference in Tokyo on September 29, 2016. Spotify kicked off its services in Japan on September 29. / AFP / TORU YAMANAKA (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images)
TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images

Spotify announced on Sunday it will add “content advisory” over coronavirus misinformation in the face of protests against podcaster Joe Rogan.

In a statement on Sunday, Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek said that the company will do more to “provide balance and access to widely-accepted information” for the coronavirus. Sources confirmed to CNN that the company will now be “adding a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes discussion about Covid-19” by directing listeners to a “hub that will include links to trusted sources.”

“These are rules of the road to guide all of our creators — from those we work with exclusively to those whose work is shared across multiple platforms,” Ek said in a statement.

“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,” Ek continued.

Spotify’s decision comes after Neil Young’s music was removed from the platform in protest of Joe Rogan.

Neil Young, Joe Rogan (Larry Busacca; Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” he wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he continued. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

Shortly thereafter, Nils Lofgren, formerly of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and Crazy Horse, announced he would be removing his music from the platform. Brenè Brown of Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead also tweeted on Saturday that she will not be releasing podcasts for the time being.

This weekend, a spokesperson for Archewell, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s foundation, said the couple has looked to Spotify to combat misinformation.

“We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does,” the spokesperson said.

According to TheWrap, Spotify shares dropped 12 percent since last week, a market value of $2 billion, though it should be noted that Spotify’s shares have been steadily dropping for several months and may not be correlated with Neil Young’s decision.

Earlier this month, 270 doctors, professors, and physicians signed an open letter demanding that Spotify boot Joe Rogan.

“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the letter read.

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