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Spotify breaks silence over vaccine row

Spotify on Sunday broke its silence and made minor modifications to its content standards about COVID-19, after the streamer faced criticism for letting its producers — especially podcaster Joe Rogan — propagate disinformation about the pandemic.
The streamer informed that it is working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.
Last week, Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young wrote a letter to Spotify requesting that his music be deleted due to "false information concerning vaccinations" on the platform. As part of his gripe with Spotify, he singled out Rogan, the presenter of "The Joe Rogan Experience," adding, "They can have Rogan or Young." "Neither."
“You’ve had a lot of questions over the last few days about our platform policies and the lines we have drawn between what is acceptable and what is not. We have had rules in place for many years but admittedly, we haven’t been transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a news release.
The new adjustments include making the company's internal guidelines regarding what is allowed on the platform publicly available, "testing ways to highlight" those restrictions to the platform's producers, and "working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19."
"We know that we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while maintaining user safety," Ek stated. "It's critical to me in that position that we don't take on the position of content censorship while simultaneously ensuring that rules are in place and that those who break them face repercussions."
Spotify began removing Neil Young's songs two days later, stating in a statement that they "regret" Young's choice and "hope to welcome him back soon." Others began to join Young a few days later. "I've chosen to withdraw all of my music off Spotify," Joni Mitchell, an eight-time Grammy winner, said in a statement on her website on Friday. "Irresponsible people are propagating misinformation that are claiming the lives of innocent people." On this matter, I stand with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical community."
Rogan, who has suggested that healthy, young people should not get vaccinated, praised ivermectin, a parasite-killing medicine with no proven anti-COVID benefits, and invited prominent conspiracy theorists onto his show, has not been heavily penalised, according to Spotify's newly published platform rules.
According to the rules, "content that promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health," such as claiming that COVID-19 is a hoax or "promoting or suggesting that vaccines approved by local health authorities are designed to cause death," is prohibited.
Meanwhile, the music streamer is losing billions of dollars in valuation over the controversy. According to reports, Spotify has lost between $2 and $4 billion dollars after the controversy erupted.


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