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Spotify unveils new content advisory label

Spotify released a new content advisory label for podcasters after multiple artists threaten to remove their music from the platform as the Joe Rogan podcast continues to spread misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines.

joe rogan spotify COVID policy

Who is Joe Rogan?

Joe Rogan was UFC fighter & a comedian who found his way in the entertainment industry in 2001 for hosting Fear Factor till 2006. He is a comedian by trade and subsequently started the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2009 which was turned into a Spotify exclusive in 2020.

Joe Rogan and COVID-19 vaccine misinformation – what is going on?

There have been countless anti-COVID-19 vax demonstrations globally however, The Joe Rogan Experience podcast which is very popular podcast both in the US & UK, hosted a series of guests who spread misinformation about COVID-19.

As a result, multiple artists like Neil Young removed his music from Spotify in protest of the platform doing nothing about Joe’s misleading claims on his show. Joni Mitchell with the Foo Fighters and Prince Harry & Meghan are also threatening to walk if Spotify continues to do nothing about Joe Rogan’s misinformation.

What is the new Spotify content advisory label?

Banning spreaders of misinformation is something social media platforms have been extremely difficult for social media platforms to combat: in particular spreaders of misinformation.

Spotify’s content advisory label was birthed following misinformation from guests who have been on the Joe Rogan podcast over the past couple of weeks and it means that any podcast discussing COVID-19 will feature this label. The advisory will then re-direct listeners to a trusted COVID-19 hub with trusted sources and links.

“These are rules of the road 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.

Is the content advisory label effective in stopping misinformation spreaders?

It is amazing to see that Spotify has responded to the growing number of concerns regarding COVID-19 misinformation however, the effectiveness of this label is still in question.

Realistically speaking, even if Joe Rogan or other creators are taken off the Spotify platform, their followers/viewers will still tune into the show. The bigger picture is that they still won’t trust mainstream news and whether these listeners will seek out these trustworthy sources is also in question.

The next question is whether this is the start of podcast censorship however,  Spotify wants to avoid censorship of podcast content as confirmed by the platform’s CEO and co-founder Dan Ek.
“It is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being a content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them,” Ek said.
For more information on the advisory label, visit the Spotify website here.
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