The White House Wades Into The Spotify Mess As Another Artist Pulls Their Content From Spotify

Continuing a trend of news that is not all that positive for Spotify, The White House has added it’s $0.02 worth to the conversation:

The White House is joining the debate about coronavirus misinformation on streaming platform Spotify, insisting that more needs to be done to ensure Americans get accurate information about the pandemic. 

Press secretary Jen Psaki called it a “positive step” that Spotify had decided to add disclaimers about covid misinformation in response to criticism from medical professionals and musicians that some content, in particular from provocative podcaster Joe Rogan, spreads false information about the coronavirus and vaccines.

“Our hope is that all major tech platforms and all major news sources, for that matter, be responsible and be vigilant to ensure the American people have access to accurate information on something as significant as covid-19,” Psaki said Tuesday. “That certainly includes Spotify.” 

“So this disclaimer, it’s a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out misinformation and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information,” she added.

Keep in mind that what Spotify did was say that it would do this:

We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19. This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources. This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform. 

So it’s up to people when they see the advisory to seek out information. You’ll note that the Press Secretary said this:

So this disclaimer, it’s a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out misinformation and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information,” she added.

So the way I read this is that what Spotify is doing is a start but they need to do more. Which to be frank they do need to do more. Because simply sticking a warning on a podcast is not good enough. And that is illustrated by another artist leaving Spotify:

Roxane Gay is a writer and social commentator. And given that she has the verified tag from Twitter, she’s anything but obscure. And I’m not so sure about her comment about not moving the needle. Every time someone leaves Spotify, it’s news. The sort of news that Spotify doesn’t want out there because it keeps this story in the news.

It will be interesting to see who’s next to bail from Spotify. And who else makes a comment about this.

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