Joe Rogan Controversy: To provide guidance on regulations addressing harmful content on the audio platform, Spotify has established an 18-member council, “while making sure we support artist expression.”
The action follows criticism earlier this year of Spotify and Joe Rogan, presenter of the top podcast on the platform, following claims that “The Joe Rogan Experience” disseminated false information about COVID. The usage of the N-word by Rogan in several episodes also garnered criticism; as a result, 70 episodes of “JRE” were taken down by Spotify, and CEO Daniel Ek issued an apology to the crew.
Spotify stated that the advisory board’s formation, which was announced on Monday, was unrelated to the Rogan problems in any way. According to Spotify’s head of trust and safety, Sarah Hoyle, the council was not established in reaction to “any specific creative or scenario,” but rather to address general safety problems.
That being said, it is obvious that the reaction against Rogan was what spurred Spotify’s actions in response to complaints about its content-safety regulations. After artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell requested their music be pulled from Spotify in opposition to its distribution of “The Joe Rogan Experience” and called for a boycott of the service, Ek wrote a long statement detailing Spotify’s official content policy in January. Ek also disclosed that podcast programs that address COVID-19 would have warning labels added by Spotify.
Independent professionals from all around the world make up Spotify’s newly established Safety Advisory Council, whose goal is to assist the firm in “evolving its rules and products in a safe way while ensuring sure we protect artist expression.” According to Spotify, this council is the first of its kind at a major audio provider.
The Safety Advisory Council members “will not make enforcement decisions regarding individual material or authors,” according to Spotify. Instead, they will offer feedback on crucial issues like legislation and the creation of safety features to direct Spotify’s approach to “equity, impact, and academic research.”
According to Spotify
the input from the advisory board “will affect how we build our high-level rules and the internal procedures our teams use to guarantee that policies are executed consistently and at scale throughout the world.”
The Dangerous Speech Project, represented by Professor Susan Benesch and Tonei Glavinic, the Center for Democracy and Technology, represented by Emma Llansó, Professor Danielle Citron, Dr. Mary Anne Franks, Alex Holmes, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), represented by Henry Tuck and Milo Comerford, Dr. Jonas Kaiser, Kinzen, represented by founders Mark Little and ine Kerr, Dr. Ronaldo Lemos, and Dissent Media are the founding members
While many of these original members have provided feedback to Spotify over the years, the business noted in a blog post establishing the advisory board, “We’re thrilled to further extend and be more transparent about our safety collaborations.” “In the next months, we will work closely with the council’s initial members to grow it, with the aim of increasing regional and language representation as well as adding more professionals with expertise in equality and effect.”