Ten years ago, we created Spotify to enable the work of creators around the world to be heard and enjoyed by listeners around the world. Deep down we believe that listening is everything. Pick almost any issue and you’ll find people and opinions on every side. Personally, there are many individuals and opinions on Spotify that I strongly disagree with. We know we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with the safety of our users. In this role, it’s important to me that we don’t take the position of content censor while ensuring that there are rules in place and consequences for those who break them.
You’ve had a lot of questions over the past few days about our platform policies and the lines we’ve drawn between what’s acceptable and what’s not. We’ve had rules in place for many years, but admittedly we haven’t been transparent about the policies that guide our content more broadly. This, in turn, has led to questions about their application to serious issues, including COVID-19.
Based on feedback over the past few weeks, it has become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time. . These questions are incredibly complex. We have heard you – especially those in the medical and scientific communities – and are taking the following actions:
- Today we are publish our long-standing platform rules. These policies have been developed by our internal team in conjunction with a number of external experts and are updated regularly to reflect the changing security landscape. These are rules of conduct to guide all of our creators, from those we work with exclusively to those whose work is shared across multiple platforms. You can now find them on our newsroom, and they will live permanently on Spotify’s main website. They are localized into different languages to help our users understand how Spotify rates all content on our platform.
- We are working on add a content notice to any podcast episode that includes a discussion of COVID-19. This notice will direct listeners to our dedicated service COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information shared by scientists, doctors, academics and public health authorities around the world, and links to trusted sources. This new counter-disinformation effort will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform.
- We will also start test ways to highlight our platform rules in our creator and publisher tools to raise awareness of what is acceptable and help creators understand their responsibility for the content they post on our platform. It’s in in addition to the terms that creators and publishers agree to govern their use of our services.
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 wWe have developed and promoted a COVID-19 Information Center. We make a donation advertising inventory to various organizations for vaccine awareness, funds to the World Health Organization and Global access to COVID-19 vaccines (COVAX) to increase vaccine equity and supported the Go give one fundraiser. And we’ve set up a music relief project to support the creative community. Although this list is not complete, I hope it gives you an idea of how seriously we have approached the pandemic as a company.
I trust our policies, the research and expertise that informs their development, and our aspiration to apply them in a way that allows for broad debate and discussion, within limits. 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. This does not mean that we always do things right, but we are committed to learning, growing and evolving..