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Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have expressed “their concerns” to Spotify over misinformation spreading on the platform.
Musicians, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, asked for their music to be removed from the app amid calls for Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast to be removed for giving false information regarding the coronavirus vaccine.
And now, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who set up Archewell Audio, signing an exclusive mega-money multi-year deal with the streaming giant to release a number of podcasts, have revealed they urged Spotify to help stop the “global misinformation crisis”.
In a statement, an Archewell spokesperson said on behalf of the royal couple: “Since the inception of Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis.
“Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of 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 misinformation on its platform.
“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.”
Spotify insisted it bans “false or dangerous deceptive content about Covid-19, which may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health.”
‘Heart of Gold’ hitmaker Neil had his music removed from Spotify earlier this week.
In a request to the company, the 76-year-old singer said: “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them. Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
The streaming service later responded: “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
In a note on her official website titled ‘I Stand With Neil Young!’, Joni, 78, added: “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”