Is Spotify Angling Towards Censorship?

It appears that Spotify is reacting to the anger associated with The Joe Rogen experience during the furror over vaccine misinformation that led Neil Young and another artist to pull their music from the streamer service. In an underreported story many of the artists who did so put their music back on.

Spotify acquired Kinzen a Dublin-based firm that has been working with Spotify since 2020. The company started with Spotify to focus on the integrity of election-related content around the world. Since then, Kinzen’s remit has expanded to include targeting misinformation, disinformaton, and hate speech.

The move brings up a question as to how far the platform will go in its monitoring and enforcement. It can’t be said enough that in a truly free society that people you or I may vehemently disagree with still have a right to express themselves. The question as to what constitutes misinformation and hate speech can get tricky.

The sorts of things that are getting people called out on Twitter are things that were not exactly controversial 10 years ago. In today’s media climate saying “Men can’t have babies” can force an advertising boycott and public apology. I am not going to jump deep into the culture wars, that is not why people read The Streaming Advisor. But the fact is that the conversation about what is appropriate has gotten very hard to follow. Spotify has a responsibility to be fair and see if things pass the eye test as it monitors the platform. Let’s hope they do.