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(Credit: Fortune Live Media)

Music

Spotify lifts suspension on political advertisements for the first time since 2020

@SamWKemp

Back in 2020, Spotify made a move to combat the spread of disinformation. The platform suspended all political advertisements surrounding the 2020 presidential election in response to widespread criticism that it was contributing to political divisions.

At the time that decision was made, Spotify also promised to put a better vetting process in place before lifting the suspension. This week, the company confirmed that political adverts will be returning to the streaming platform.

In a recent statement, a spokesperson for Spotify explained: “Following our pause of political ads in early 2020, we have spent the past two years strengthening and enhancing our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content. We are now beginning to sell select political advertisements in opted-in third-party podcasts via the Spotify Audience Network in the US”.

Spotify is alleged to have sent an internal email clarifying that it will no longer accept advertisements from issue-based groups, and will only host ads from known candidates. Nor will ads run between songs streaming on the free-subscription option.

The issue of misinformation was raised once again at the start of 2022, when Neil Young requested that his music be removed from Spotify in protest of the platform’s affiliation with the Joe Rogan Experience, which the singer-songwriter claimed was “spreading fake information about vaccines—potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”

After Young’s music was pulled from the service, many other artists requested that their catalogues be removed. CEO Daniel Ek condemned Rogan at the time, but the streaming service still works closely with the presenter and continues to support his podcast.