Spotify says that it is working to add advisory warnings to any podcast on its platform that discusses Covid-19.
The move follows criticism of its work with Joe Rogan, a US podcast host who has interviewed vaccine-sceptics. The platform also published existing rules which bar the streaming giant’s contributors from sharing false information that could cause harm.
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”. The rules say that creators should avoid content that “promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health”. These include suggesting that Covid-19 or other diseases are not real and encouraging people to deliberately get infected with coronavirus in order to build immunity. Content which breaks the rules could be removed, and repeated violations could lead to an account being taken down.
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.