Doctors and scientists call on Spotify to create a misinformation policy

Doctors, health experts, and scientists battle COVID-19 misinformation every day. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have adopted policies in an effort to curb rampant false claims, but some do not have rules in place. A group of 270 doctors, nurses, scientists and educators sent an open letter to Spotify after a recent episode of the Joe Rogan ExperienceHe called on the broadcasting service to adopt a clear policy and fulfill its “responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation.”

On the December 31 episode of his podcast, Joe Rogan interviewed Dr. Robert Mallon, a virologist who said he was one of the creators of the mRNA technology. It is unclear whether this is true. During the chat, Mallon made unfounded claims about COVID-19, including the idea that “mass psychosis” led people to believe vaccines were effective and the idea that President Biden had withheld data supporting ivermectin as a valid treatment. The episode quickly went viral among critics and fans with Rogan averaging over 10 million listeners per episode. YouTube removed a video from the interview and Malone was recently banned from Twitter for violating the platform’s COVID-19 disinformation policy.

The letter states: “By allowing false and harmful assertions to be disseminated to the community, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to harm public trust in scientific research and to cast doubt on the credibility of data-based guidelines provided by medical professionals.” “[The episode] It’s not the only breach occurring on the Spotify platform, but it is a relevant example of the platform’s failure to mitigate the harm it causes.”

in April, I mentioned the edge That Spotify was okay with Rogan’s episode in which he encouraged 21-year-olds not to get vaccinated. A source in the company noted that the letter was not “ostensibly anti-vaccine” nor was it “a call to action”, the edge Ashley Karman wrote at the time. Spotify has removed more visible examples of vaccine misinformation, including a song by musician Ian Brown and an audio file by Pete Evans. The company has said in the past that it “bans content on the platform that promotes false, deceptive or misleading dangerous content about COVID-19 that may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health.” And that when something violates these guidelines, it is removed.

However, as this open letter indicates, Spotify does not have an official disinformation policy like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others. The group is asking the platform to do just that, rather than taking direct action against Rogan or removing the relevant episode. They want the company to set rules that will make podcasters responsible for the content of their shows.

Spotify paid $100 million to close Joe Rogan Experience As an exclusive podcast in 2020. The show was the most popular on the platform in 2021, both in the US and globally. When Rogan faced criticism over his choice of guests, including another example of epidemiological disinformation in an episode with Alex Jones, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said the platform had no editorial responsibility for the podcast.

“We have a lot of well-paid rappers on Spotify too, who make tens of millions of dollars, if not more, every year from Spotify.” Ek said to Axios. “And we don’t dictate what they put in their songs either.”

Spotify did not respond to Engadget’s request for comment on both the open letter and the company’s misleading information policies.

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