Spotify responds to controversy over Covid misinformation on Joe Rogan's podcast
Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removed their music from the platform over "vaccine misinformation".
Spotify has updated the rules of its platform in response to controversy surrounding Covid misinformation being shared on the Joe Rogan Experience.
The music and podcast streaming platform has faced criticism for continuing to provide a platform for Rogan, who has shared misinformation surrounding Covid in the past.
Previous guests who have appeared on the show include Dr Robert Malone, who claimed during his interview on the show that world leaders had "hypnotised" the public and spread a number of falsehoods surrounding Covid vaccines.
Rogan himself was the subject of controversy for discouraging vaccination in children and young adults, and promoting the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid.
In December, 270 doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter calling on Spotify to "take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform".
Artists Joni Mitchell and Neil Young have removed their music from the platform over the content of Rogan's podcast as well.
Daniel Ek, a co-founder and CEO of Spotify, responded to the controversy by publishing a letter detailing new rules and guidelines for the platform.
"You’ve had a lot of questions over the last few days about our platform policies and the lines we have drawn between what is acceptable and what is not," Ek said.
"We have had rules in place for many years but admittedly, we haven’t been transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly.
"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," he added.
Spotify has published its Platform Rules, which content creators will have to adhere to or face removal from the platform.
One of these rules are centred around "content that promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health".
Examples provided include claiming Covid or AIDS are a hoax, claiming that vaccines are designed to cause death, encouraging using bleach products as treatment, or encouraging people to purposefully get infected with Covid.
Podcasts that feature discussion of Covid will also now include a content advisory warning, linking listeners to a Covid information hub on Spotify.
Rogan has agreed with the addition of these rules via a video posted on his personal Instagram page.
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