Spotify forms safety council to provide feedback after Rogan controversy

14 Jun 2022

Image: © yalcinsonat/

Spotify introduced new platform rules earlier this year after a Joe Rogan podcast on Covid-19 put the company under fire for misinformation.

Following the pressure Spotify faced regarding the Joe Rogan podcast, the streaming platform has created a Safety Advisory Council to shape its content moderation policies.

The council members will advise Spotify in key areas such as policy and safety feature development.

The company said the overall purpose of the council is to help Spotify evolve “in a safe way” while respecting creator expression. As such, the council cannot make enforcement decisions on specific content or creators.

The streaming giant said this is another move to be more transparent about its safety efforts, with the first move being a set of new platform rules introduced in January as a response to the Rogan controversy.

Spotify was under fire at the start of the year for hosting The Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast that featured interviews criticised for spreading false information about Covid-19 and vaccines.

This caused issues for Spotify, as musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell requested to have their music removed from the platform after raising concerns about the spread of misinformation.

Weeks later, another wave of controversy hit when singer-songwriter India Arie shared a compilation video of Rogan using racial slurs on his podcast. This led to more than 100 episodes of the podcast being removed from Spotify.

Spotify said the founding members of its new Safety Advisory Council are individuals and organisations that have expertise in key areas to help navigate the online safety space.

“Their 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,” the company said in a blogpost yesterday (13 June).

The council includes individuals from Irish start-up Kinzen, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the Dangerous Speech Project.

“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,” Spotify said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic