Harry and Meghan will continue to work with Spotify amid ‘misinformation’ drama
The bold statement then saw the #CancelSpotify trend on Twitter, with artists such as Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band backing Neil Young by also removing their music from the platform.
Amid growing pressure to voice their position on the matter, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have now released a statement in which they said they expressed their concerns to Spotify bosses over “the all too real consequences of Covid misinformation on its platform” – while adding that they would continue to work with them.
“Since Archewell’s inception, we have worked to solve the global misinformation crisis in real time,” the couple began.
“Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of misinformation and disinformation every day.
“Last April, our co-founders began raising concerns with our partners at Spotify about the all-too-real consequences of Covid misinformation on its platform.
“We have continued to raise our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes are made to its platform to help address this public health crisis.
“We look to Spotify to meet this moment and pledge to continue our work together as it does.”
Since the drama unfolded, Spotify has announced that it will take extra precautions to combat the spread of misinformation about vaccines on the platform.
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In one published statement on Spotify’s website, CEO Daniek Ek said the platform will implement a new warning that will redirect users to a coronavirus facts data hub.
“Based on feedback over the past few weeks, he has become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to ensure balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities that guides us through this unprecedented time.”
“I want you to know that from the earliest days of the pandemic, Spotify has been action-oriented. We have launched a variety of educational resources and campaigns to raise awareness and we have developed and promoted a global information hub on COVID-19.”
He added, “We take this seriously and will continue to partner with experts and invest heavily in our platform features and product capabilities for the benefit of creators and listeners. That doesn’t mean we always do things right, but we are committed to learning, growing and evolving.”
The answer follows an open letter to Spotify last month, which was signed by hundreds of scientists, professors and public health experts who urged Spotify to crack down on Rogan and pandemic misinformation in general.
“With approximately 11 million listeners per episode, [Rogan’s show] is the largest podcast in the world and has considerable influence. While Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company currently has no misinformation policy,” the letter read.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly aired misleading and false claims on his podcast, causing mistrust in science and medicine.
“This is not just a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform. We, the undersigned doctors, nurses, scientists and educators, therefore call Spotify to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.”
Back in December 2020, The Duke and Duchess have revealed they have signed a multi-year deal with the audio streaming service to create exclusive audio programming under their new production company Archewell Audio.
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“What we love about podcasting is that it reminds us all to take a moment and really listen, to connect with each other without distraction,” the couple said at the time.
“With the 2020 challenges, there’s never been a more important time to do this, because when we get along and share each other’s stories, it reminds us how interconnected we all are.”
Spotify added in a press release that Harry and Meghan’s podcasting ventures are an attempt to “build community through shared experience, stories and values”.