Spotify acquires firm that detects harmful content

FILE PHOTO: A headset is seen in front of a screen projection of Spotify logo, in this picture illustration

By Dawn Chmielewski

(Reuters) - Audio-streaming service Spotify Technology SA on Wednesday said it had acquired Kinzen, a firm that has helped it identify harmful content on the platform.

The acquisition is part of Spotify’s efforts to deal with harmful content on its service after a backlash earlier this year over "The Joe Rogan Experience," in which the podcaster was accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19.

The Dublin-based firm has been working with Spotify since 2020, initially focusing on the integrity of election-related content around the world. Since then, Kinzen's remit has expanded to include targeting misinformation, disinformaton and hate speech.

"Kinzen offers a combination of tools and expertise to help us better understand the content on our platform and emerging abuse trends," said Sarah Hoyle, Spotify's head of trust and safety.

Deal terms were not disclosed.

Earlier this year, Spotify said it would be more transparent in how it determines what is acceptable and unacceptable content. It published its platform rules for the first time in January. In June, it formed a Safety Advisory Council to provide input on harmful content.

Kinzen will provide early warnings about problems in different markets, helping Spotify more effectively moderate content in more languages.

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Sam Holmes, Kirsten Donovan)