Spotify to Add ‘Content Advisory’ Labels to Podcasts About COVID-19

Streamer has faced artist boycotts this week over “lies and misinformation” about the virus

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Spotify has released an updated policy on how it will handle COVID-19 discussions within its podcasts, saying Sunday that a “content advisory” label will be added to all relevant material.

“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,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote in a statement. “These issues are incredibly complex. We’ve heard you – especially those from the medical and scientific communities.”

Spotify will now add “a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.” That label will contain a link, directing listeners to “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.”

The streamer has also published their “long-standing Platform Rules” in their online newsroom and main website, and says they will be testing ways of making those rules more visible in their publishing tools, “to raise awareness around what’s acceptable and help creators understand their accountability.”

The move comes just days after Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and other artists began pulling their music and podcast catalogues from Spotify in protest of the stream ” promoting lies and misinformation” about vaccinations. Young, in particular mentioned Joe Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

Young first demanded the removal of his music from Spotify on Monday, saying he did not want to be associated with a platform that hosts Rogan’s podcast, a program that Young says spreads “fake information about vaccines.”

“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.

“I trust our policies, the research and expertise that inform their development, and our aspiration to apply them in a way that allows for broad debate and discussion, within the lines,” Ek added in his statement on Sunday. “We take this seriously and will continue to partner with experts and invest heavily in our platform functionality and product capabilities for the benefit of creators and listeners alike. That doesn’t mean that we always get it right, but we are committed to learning, growing and evolving.”