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OPLIN 4Cast #788: Spotify is having a moment. And it’s not a good one

Posted in Spotify

About a year ago, I allowed my son to share my Spotify account. In retrospect this was a bad idea. Suddenly, my library was full of playlists with titles like “POV I’m gonna fist fight a demon” and, when I went to view my “wrap” for last year, it was clear who’s music was the main component of the annual review. Not to mention the times when we fight for the actual use of the Spotify player.

Another, bigger fight is happening right now though, directly involving streaming music’s golden child. Artist Neil Young is removing his music from the platform as a result of Spotify’s support of podcaster Joe Rogan, who is reportedly perpetuating COVID-19 misinformation. This, in turn, has opened to floodgates, and the controversy rages on.

  • Spotify reportedly has a very limited set of COVID content guidelines [Engadget] “There’s a lot podcasters can get away with with such a narrow and limited set of rules. In comparison, YouTube makes it clear that any content with claims that contradict local health authorities or WHO is prohibited on its website. It’s not just suggestions that wearing a mask will cause harm that’s prohibited on the Google-owned service, but also claims that masking does not help prevent the contraction or transmission of COVID-19. A podcast host on Spotify can say the latter without repercussions.”
  • Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young, pulls her music from Spotify over vaccine misinformation [TechCrunch] “As one of the world’s most famous and most well-respected living musicians, Mitchell’s decision to abandon Spotify over Rogan is bound to turn some heads. And unlike Young, she didn’t have an existing beef with the service over its stream quality.”
  • Brené Brown says she’s pausing her Spotify-exclusive podcast [Engadget] ” The move came amid mounting criticism of Spotify over its handling of Rogan and misinformation, with the UK’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle (who themselves have a Spotify deal) voicing “concerns” over the streaming service’s approach.”
  • Spotify’s new COVID-19 policy doesn’t fix its Joe Rogan problem [Mashable] “By flagging every single COVID-related podcast discussion with an advisory, Spotify is implicitly putting Rogan’s proclivity for junk science on the same footing as any deeply researched, science-first podcast tackling the same topic. It’s a dodge: By lumping all COVID discussions together under one umbrella, Spotify gets to say, essentially, “Some of this is right and some of this isn’t, and we’re giving you the tools to decide for yourself.””

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