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Rogan Backlash Leads Spotify To Flag COVID Content In ‘Effort To Combat Misinformation’

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Spotify will begin attaching a warning label to content that features discussions of COVID-19 following backlash over its relationship with podcast host Joe Rogan.

The company will affix a link to its “COVID-19 Hub,” which provides information on the virus, and a COVID-19 “advisory” on every podcast episode that features discussions of COVID-19, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced in a blog post Sunday. The audio streaming service also published its platform rules as part of the announcement.

“This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days,” Ek wrote. “To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform.” (RELATED: Joe Rogan, Rand Paul Begin Exodus From Big Tech In Mounting Backlash Over Censorship)

There’s been a lot of conversation about information regarding COVID-19 on Spotify. We’ve heard the criticism and we’re implementing changes to help combat misinformation. https://t.co/ic8jfR1RNR

— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) January 30, 2022

Spotify was the subject of criticism over the past few weeks because of its relationship with Joe Rogan, who has an exclusive deal with the company to distribute his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” A coalition of medical professionals signed onto a letter demanding that Spotify crack down on COVID-19 “misinformation” on its platform, citing Rogan by name, and musician Neil Young withdrew his music catalog from the service over its relationship with Rogan.

“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,” Ek wrote.

However, the Spotify CEO cautioned against taking too aggressive a position on content moderation.

“It is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them,” Ek said.

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