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Spotify forms advisory council to deal with harmful content and online abuse


Spotify announced on Monday that it has formed a safety advisory board to provide third-party commentary on issues including hate speech, misinformation, extremism and online abuse.

The group represents a new step in Spotify’s efforts to tackle harmful content on its audio streaming service after a backlash earlier this year on The Joe Rogan Experience, in which the podcaster was accused of spreading misinformation about COVID -19.

The 18 experts, which include representatives from the American civil rights group, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and the Institute for Technology and Society in Brazil, will advise Spotify in the development of products and policies and in thinking about emerging issues.

“The idea is to bring in these world-renowned experts, many of whom have been in this space for several years, to build a relationship with them,” said Dustee Jenkins, global head of public affairs at Spotify. “And to make sure he doesn’t talk to them when we’re in the middle of a situation…Instead, we meet with them on a fairly regular basis, so we can be a lot more proactive about how we think about those enterprise-wide issues.

The advice is purely advisory in nature and Spotify may accept or reject its advice. Unlike Facebook’s supervisory board, which decides which cases it reviews, Spotify will submit issues to its board for review and provide feedback.

Many attendees, such as Kinzen founders Mark Little and Aine Kerr, are already checking out Spotify. Some, like Ronaldo Lemos, who was instrumental in creating Brazil’s Internet Bill of Rights law, bring regional expertise.

Sarah Hoyle, head of trust and safety at Spotify, said the advisory board was not formed in reaction to “any particular creator or situation”, but rather in recognition of operational challenges. of a global service in an era of constantly evolving threats.

“How can we augment the internal expertise that we already have at Spotify, to tap into these people whose life’s work has been to study this, and they’re on the ground in markets around the world, just like our users, just like our creators,” Hoyle said.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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