Spotify launches a Safety Advisory Council following COVID misinformation comments by guests on the Joe Rogan podcast earlier this year.
What is the Spotify Advisory Council?
The 18 member council was created to advise on policies addressing harmful content though Spotify denies that this will be a means of censoring creators distributing content on the platform. Sarah Hoyle, the head of trust and safety at Spotify insisted that Spotify created the council address overall safety issues and not in response to “any particular creator or situation.”
The advisory council is the second measure Spotify has put in place to combat misinformation and fake news since the start of the year. The ‘content advisory label‘ was also created this year after multiple artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell threaten to remove their music from the platform as the Joe Rogan podcast allegedly spread misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines.
Spotify claims it’s the first safety-focused council of its type at any major audio company.
According to Spotify, the members of the Safety Advisory Council “will not make enforcement decisions about specific content or creators.” Rather, they will provide input in key areas like policy and safety-feature development to guide Spotify’s approach to “equity, impact, and academic research.”
The advisory board’s feedback “will inform how we shape our high-level policies and the internal processes our teams follow to ensure that policies are applied consistently and at scale around the world,” Spotify said.
The Spotify Safety Advisory Council founding members and partner organizations are: the Dangerous Speech Project, represented by Prof. Susan Benesch and Tonei Glavinic; Center for Democracy and Technology, represented by Emma Llansó; Prof. Danielle Citron; Dr. Mary Anne Franks; Alex Holmes; Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), represented by Henry Tuck and Milo Comerford; Dr. Jonas Kaiser; Kinzen, represented by founders Mark Little and Áine Kerr; Dr. Ronaldo Lemos; Dr. Christer Mattsson; Dr. Tanu Mitra; Desmond Upton Patton, PhD, MSW; Megan Phelps-Roper; and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, represented by Dr. Katherine Pieper and Dr. Stacy L. Smith.
“While Spotify has been seeking feedback from many of these founding members for years, we’re excited to further expand and be more transparent about our safety partnerships,” the company said in a blog post announcing the advisory board. “In the months ahead, we will work closely with founding members to expand the council, with the goal of broadening regional and linguistic representation as well as adding additional experts in the equity and impact space.”