spotify acquires kinzen to combat hate speech and misinformation

Spotify, an audio streaming provider, has announced its acquisition of Ireland-based tech company Kinzen to assist in identifying and addressing harmful content on the platform.

Partners Since 2020

The two firms have been collaborating since 2020. The initial goal was to eliminate the spread of disinformation in relation to the election at the time by flagging podcast content for review.

Today, Kinzen proudly announced on Twitter that Spotify had acquired its business.

Kinzen’s partnership with Spotify began in 2020. Our aligned vision of online safety led to a deeper relationship, and to a decision we are proud to announce today: that Kinzen has been acquired by Spotify. Read more here: https://t.co/ifiSWuxgz8

— Kinzen (@wearekinzen) October 5, 2022

According to a statement released by Spotify, Kinzen combines machine learning with human knowledge to investigate potentially dangerous content, misinformation, and hate speech across a number of different languages. The software also aims to avoid future disastrous publicity stunts.

The statement confirmed that it would allow the platform to effectively deliver a safe space and a secure, engaging experience to its creators and users around the world. The technology developed is well-suited to podcasts and other types of audio formats.

“We’ve long had an impactful and collaborative partnership with Kinzen and its exceptional team. Now, working together as one, we’ll be able to even further improve our ability to detect and address harmful content, and importantly, in a way that better considers local context,” said Spotify executive Dustee Jenkins in the statement.

Sarah Hoyle, another group exec, pointed out that the expansion shows the firm’s proactive approach in this area.

Kinzen: A Brief Background

The tech firm was founded by Mark Little and Áine Kerr. Based on its website, the two were colleagues at the social news agency, Storyful, founded by Little in 2009.

Eventually, Little and Kerr decided to establish another company. Kinzen was first introduced as Neva Labs in 2017, but it changed its name a year later.

The prime and initial focus of the group was on news curation before pivoting into the online trust and safety sector, using its developed system.

Spotify on Rogan’s Controversy

Engadget reported that Spotify and Kinzen’s agreement to work together happened before Joe Rogan began spreading falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccination on his program available on Spotify, which is claimed to be the most listened-to podcast on the planet.

Earlier this year, Spotify received a lot of hate due to its connection with Rogan. It led to a public outcry and a PR nightmare for the company’s brand.

TechCrunch reported that the hashtag “deletespotify” became a trending topic on social media sites.

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are just two well-known artists who pulled out their music from Spotify as a protest against Rogan.

The digital music provider was encouraged by a large number of medical professionals to develop a policy that would prevent the further dissemination of false information.

Later on, Spotify made its content guidelines public and began adding a content advisory to podcast episodes that featured comments about COVID-19.

Written by Trisha Kae Andrada

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