has bought a company that it says will help detect and address malicious content on the platform. Kinzen uses machine learning and human expertise to analyze potentially harmful content and hate speech in multiple languages, . It added that Kinzen will “help us more effectively deliver a safe, enjoyable experience on our platform around the world” and that the company’s technology is especially suited to podcasts and other audio formats.
Looking for signs of harmful audio content in hundreds of languages is a difficult task, especially since there can be nuances that certain systems and non-native speakers may not pick up. As such, Spotify says Kinzen will help it “better understand the abuse landscape and identify emerging threats on the platform”.
The two companies have actually been working together since 2020, with the aim of preventing disinformation in election-related content. They forged their partnership before Joe Rogan started his , which is said to be the most listened to podcast in the world.
There was significant backlash against Rogan and Spotify earlier this year. Hundreds of doctors and scientists urged Spotify to curb the spread of misinformation. Weeks later, Spotify began podcasting episodes of discussions about COVID-19 and made its content guidelines public.
Several prominent artists withdrew their music from Spotify in protest against Rogan, including and . The host and editor of the podcast owned by Spotify Science USA also (except those where it fact-checked Rogan and countered misinformation on the platform) unless the company did more to stem the flow of harmful falsehoods.
Spotify may see the use of Kinzen’s technology as a means of preventing this from happening in the future. However, it is unclear how effective it will be at preventing the spread of misinformation. If harmful content were featured on a popular podcast, it could gain attention on social media and in the press before Spotify can act. Yet at least it is to attempt do more to eradicate disinformation.
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