After doctors, scientists, health-care professionals, professors, and musicians raised concerns over COVID-19 misinformation running rampant on Spotify podcasts, the streaming service announced it will now add a content advisory to podcasts that discuss the virus.
"To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by any major podcast platform," Spotify said on Sunday, adding that the global rollout will start within the next few days. The advisory will link to a hub containing facts on COVID-19, information from reputable doctors and scientists, and links to additional resources.
Earlier this month, 270 experts signed an open letter to Spotify, criticizing misinformation being shared on The Joe Rogan Experience, the platform's most popular podcast. The letter specifically referred to a December episode with virologist Robert Malone, who spread vaccine misinformation and false conspiracy theories, including that people only believe vaccines work because of "mass formation psychosis." The experts asked Spotify to "establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform."
Last week, singer and songwriter Neil Young took a stand against misinformation, demanding his music be removed from Spotify. Joni Mitchell followed a few days later, and on Sunday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have a deal with Spotify to produce and host podcasts through their company Archewell Audio, said they spoke to Spotify about their concerns regarding "the all too real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform."
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement he trusts the company's "policies, the research, and expertise that inform their development, and our aspiration to apply them in a way that allows for broad debate and discussion, within the lines. We take this seriously and will continue to partner with experts and invest heavily in our platform functionality and product capabilities for the benefit of creators and listeners alike."