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Spotify says it will add content advisory to podcasts that discuss COVID-19

"This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days," Ek wrote in a blog post published Sunday. "To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform."

January 31, 2022 / 06:19 AM IST
The issue was highlighted after Joe Rogan's interview with Dr Robert Malone

The issue was highlighted after Joe Rogan's interview with Dr Robert Malone

Spotify Technology SA will add a "content advisory" to any podcast episode that includes discussion about COVID-19, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said, after coming under fire from rock and folk legends for giving voice to misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

"This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days," Ek wrote in a blog post published Sunday. "To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform."

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan also expressed their concern to Spotify about COVID-19 misinformation on its platform and are committed to continuing to work with the company, a spokesperson for their Archewell foundation said on Sunday.

The advisory will direct listeners to a COVID-19 hub that contains facts and information from medical and health experts, as well as links to trusted sources.

The move comes after singer-songwriters Neil Young and Joni Mitchell announced they are removing their music from Spotify in protest that the popular streaming service has allowed the airing of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Young objected to his music being played on the same platform as Joe Rogan's top-rated podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience." A prominent vaccine skeptic, Rogan has stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic, government mandates and vaccines to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier this month, 270 scientists and medical professionals signed a letter urging Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing him of spreading falsehoods on the podcast.

In a tweet on Saturday best-selling author Brene Brown -- host of the Spotify-exclusive podcasts "Unlocking Us" and "Dare to Lead" -- said she would "not be releasing any podcasts until further notice."

Brown could not immediately be reached for comment.

Spotify is also publishing platform rules for its creators, according to Ek's post.

"We know we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with the safety of our users," he wrote. "In that role, it is important to me that we don't take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them."



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Reuters
first published: Jan 31, 2022 06:20 am
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