By Ramishah Maruf, CNN Business
Spotify responded on Sunday to criticism it received over Covid-19 content after a number of prominent artists said they would leave the platform if it continued to host comedian Joe Rogan, whose the podcast aired misleading and inaccurate claims about vaccines and the virus.
Spotify said it adds a content notice to any podcast episode that includes a discussion of Covid-19. The notice will direct listeners to a Covid-19 hub that will include links to trusted sources, the company said.
Spotify will also for the first time publicly post its longstanding platform rules, which were originally developed by its internal team.
“These are rules of conduct to guide all of our creators – from those we work with exclusively to those whose work is shared across multiple platforms,” CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek said in a statement.
The growing list of musicians and personalities calling Spotify follows Neil Young and then Joni Mitchell asking for their music to be removed from the platform.
Spotify exclusively hosts the popular podcast, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, on which the Covid-19 vaccine misinformation was spread
“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 that guides us through this unprecedented time,” Ek said.
Nils Lofgren, who was part of Bruce Springeteen’s E Street Band and Crazy Horse, also announced that he was removing his music from Spotify and encouraged all “musicians, artists and music lovers” to cut ties with the platform to support health professionals.
“When these heroic men and women, who have spent their lives healing and saving ours, cry out for help, you don’t turn your back on them for money and power,” Lofgren and his wife said. , Amy, in a statement. . “You listen and stay with them.”
A spokesperson for Archewell, the foundation run by Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, said the couple had expressed concern to Spotify over Covid-19 misinformation.
“We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does,” the spokesperson added. The statement did not specifically mention Rogan’s show.
And Brenè Brown, who is behind “Unlocking Us” and “Dare to Lead”, tweeted Saturday that she will not be releasing any podcasts until further notice.
Is banning the spreaders of false information effective?
In Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter asked if there should be a more realistic way to approach this “mole swipe of bans.”
Culture writer Kat Rosenfield compared Rogan to a “weed that grew outside of mainstream media”. Even if the host is out of shape, she said, her fans will still listen to her and there will be no gash in the delivery of her messages. And those fans still wouldn’t trust mainstream news sources.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” is currently the most popular podcast in the US and UK on Spotify.
“People are basically angry that they can’t stop their audience from wanting news that’s bad for them,” Rosenfield said.
She added that the fundamental question is whether Rogan listeners will seek more reliable information if the host were to be kicked out of Spotify.
Ek said in the statement that there are “many individuals and opinions” he strongly disagrees with on the platform.
“It’s important to me that we don’t take the position of being a censor of content while ensuring that there are rules in place and consequences for those who break them,” Ek said.
CNN’s Max Foster, Vasco Cotovio and Rob Picheta contributed to this report.
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