Do you prefer your music playlists with a side of vaccine misinformation? Then late night host Stephen Colbert has a solution for you in light of Spotify’s new content warnings.
The late show ran an imaginary Spotify ad touting a playlist featuring “all your favorite songs strategically assembled in an order that results in harmful inaccuracies”. The ad suggests Spotify users are so obsessed with the Covid inaccuracies spread by Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast that they haven’t noticed the streaming service is ‘spreading misinformation with music’ .
The gag playlist uses popular song titles from artists including Ed Sheeran, David Bowie, Adele and Migos to create a secret message: “I heard the plan changes the shape of you.” (It’s actually a pretty good collection of hits, to be honest.) The ad ends with a title card that notes, “We randomly tapped on your understanding of basic facts.”
The parody comes just days after Spotify announced it would add a ‘content notice’ disclaimer to all podcasts featuring a discussion of Covid-19.
In a post on Spotify’s For the Record blog, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote that “while there are many individuals and opinions on Spotify that I strongly disagree with…there is important to me that we do not take the position of being satisfied”. censor.”
In the platform’s recently released rules, Spotify prohibits its contributors from “content that promotes dangerous false or misleading medical information that may cause offline harm or pose a direct threat to public health.”
On Monday, Rogan said he was not trying to “promote misinformation”, but defended his decision to book vaccine-skeptical guests like Dr Robert Malone and Dr Peter McCullough by touting their credentials.
Last week, Neil Young became the first high-profile artist to demand his catalog be removed from Spotify. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines – potentially causing the death of those who believe the misinformation is being spread by them,” Young wrote. “They may have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Joni Mitchell joined Young in protesting Friday night, with Crazy Horse and E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren also removing his music from the platform over the weekend.