Spotify: Will Label Controversial COVID Content

Spotify: Will Label Controversial COVID Content Spotify: Will Label Controversial COVID Content Commentator Joe Roganr. (Alex Trautwig/Getty)

By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 30 January 2022 07:23 PM

Spotify on Sunday announced that it would add coronavirus content advisories to any episode on its service that talks about the pandemic in response to criticism of its handling of controversial content on Joe Rogan’s podcast, its most popular show, The Verge reports .

The advisory will lead listeners to a hub containing more information about the pandemic.

In an attempt to stem the controversy, Spotify published internal rules Sunday that it created years ago to define what it considers acceptable content on its service, Bloomberg reported.

"We have had rules in place for many years, but admittedly we haven’t been transparent around the policies that guide our content mo re broadly," Spotify Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek wrote in a blog post. "This, in turn, led to questions around their application to serious issues including COVID-19."

The rules forbid dangerous, deceptive, sensitive and illegal content, including anything that advocates or glorifies serious physical harm, deceptive content, interferes with an election or infringes on a copyright, according to Bloomberg.

A company spokesperson said that none of Rogan’s episodes violate its policies.

The number of podcasts on Spotify has increased rapidly over the past few years to more than three million shows, and the company said it still continues to create its best methods for evaluating them.

Spotify is trying to bring an end to bitter criticism from a number of users and musicians without causing a strain with its most popular and profitable podcaster. Last week singers Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the streaming service to protest agasint Rogan, who has hosted several outspoken skeptics of the coronavirus vaccines.

However, according to Bloomberg, it is unclear if Spotify’s public disclosure of its internal rules will be enough to satisfy critics and bring the controversy to an end.