Spotify’s plan to add advisory to COVID podcasts is a positive step -White House

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Illustration shows Spotify logo

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON -Spotify’s plan to add a content advisory to any discussion of COVID-19 on its platform is a positive step, but tech platforms should do more to prevent the spread of misinformation on the coronavirus, the White House said on Tuesday.

“Our hope is all major tech platforms and all major news sources for that matter be responsible and be vigilant to ensure that the American people have access to accurate information on something as significant as COVID-19”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in a briefing.

“This disclaimer – it’s a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out misinformation.”

U.S. podcaster Joe Rogan apologized on Sunday and pledged more balance on his show, The Joe Rogan Experience, amid a backlash against COVID misinformation on the streaming service that wiped more than $2 billion off its market value last week.

Spotify shares have risen 18.23% since Rogan apologized and Citigroup gave it a “buy” rating.

Rogan’s show has been the most listened-to podcast on Spotify. His views on vaccines and government mandates to control the spread of the coronavirus alienated prominent figures from the platform before Spotify said it would add a content advisory to any episode with discussion of COVID to try to quell the controversy.

It marked the first step by Spotify into the field of content moderation that other tech platforms have found challenging and costly.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington; additional reporting by Yuvraj Malik, writing by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Leslie Adler, Marguerita Choy and Bernard Orr)

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