UK’s Harry and Meghan voice concern to Spotify over COVID-19 misinformation

UK’s Harry and Meghan voice concern to Spotify over COVID-19 misinformation

January 30, 2022

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have expressed their concern to Spotify about COVID-19 misinformation on its platform and are committed to continuing to work with the company, a spokesperson for their Archewell foundation said on Sunday.

Singer-songwriters Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are removing their music from Spotify in protest that the popular streaming service has allowed the airing of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Harry and Meghan signed a series of corporate deals, including to produce and host podcasts for Spotify, as part of their efforts to make a living following their split with Britain’s royal family announced in 2020.

“Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day. Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform,” the spokesperson said.

“We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis. We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”

Contacted by Reuters on Sunday through its website, Spotify had no immediate comment.

The Swedish company has previously said it worked to balance “both safety for listeners and freedom for creators” and had removed more than 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 in accordance with its “detailed content policies.”

Young objected to his music being played on the same platform as Joe Rogan’s top-rated postcast “The Joe Rogan Experience”. Rogan has stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic, government mandates and vaccines to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier this month, 270 scientists and medical professionals signed a letter urging Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing him of spreading falsehoods on the podcast.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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