News Tech: New York state’s top pensions official told streaming music platform Spotify Technology SA about the effectiveness of new content rules, citing complaints such as podcaster Joe Rogan spreading false information about the COVID-19 vaccine. I asked for details about New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees funds holding Spotify shares, reported in a letter sent to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on Feb. 2 and filed with Reuters requesting a letter.
“As seen with other technology and media companies that host or publish content, failure to properly moderate content on their platforms can pose a variety of reputational, regulatory, legal, and financial risks. There is he writes DiNapoli. A Spotify representative did not respond to a request for comment. Logan, the former host of reality TV reality show Fear Factor and mixed martial arts commentator, signed a $100 million deal that gives Spotify exclusive rights to the podcast but wants more balance on his show.
The letter also called on Spotify to provide users with an easy mechanism to report content that may violate its rules and to define how its board will oversee content risk and enforcement. DiNapoli cited reports that Spotify is hosting content containing his COVID-19 misinformation and racist and anti-Semitic material. Prominent rock musician Neil Young left the platform last month after saying Logan misled people about vaccines and other stars followed suit.
To quell the controversy, the company said it would add content recommendations to each episode discussing COVID. On January 30, Spotify also announced “Platform Rules” for areas such as “content that incites violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on race, religion, gender identity or expression.” A pension fund overseen by Mr. DiNapoli holds $41 million worth of his Spotify stock as of Dec. 31, making it his 73rd largest stock in the company. DiNapoli, however, was one of a group of influential activists who successfully lobbied for more content oversight at other social media companies.