Spotify Acquires Content Modernization Company KIZEN to Address Content Safety Issues
Spotify has announced that it is acquiring the services of Ireland-based Content Modernization company Kizen to address the content safety issues in Spotify. Deals terms have not been disclosed yet, but Kizen technology will be used to help the company better podcasts. And other audio using a combination of machine learning and human expertise.
Kizen was established by Aine Kerr, Mark Little, and Paul Watson in 2017. Its main mission was focusing on the protection of public conversations from “dangerous misinformation and harmful content.”
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This is an area Spotify has direct experience due to the result of controversy over its top podcaster Joe Regan. Who spread misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines in his show. Which leads to public backlash and a PR nightmare for the company. At one time, 270 physicians and scientists signed an open letter to Spotify demanding to address the matter of misinformation. The hashtag #deleteSpotify was trending, and high-profile artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music in protest from Spotify.
Spotify later revised its policies regarding COVID-19 and misinformation in early 2022. But the experts and critics argued the actual changes have not been able to create a significant impact. Spotify took another step towards better handling of content in its platform by the creation of the “Safety Advisory Council”. Whose job is to assist Spotify’s future content moderation decisions.
The purpose of acquiring Kizen is to help Spotify respond more quickly to content moderation issues using technology and human expertise. Kizen premier tools include those that help platforms plan ahead by getting early warnings about evolving narratives. And trends that could later become misinformation risks.
This may include antisemitism, hateful content, violent extremism, and other misinformation across multiple markets and languages. It provides its customers with actionable insights across policy violations which can address audio, video, and text-based content. This cross-platform is extremely important given Spotify’s expansion into video podcasts and wants to cater to advertisers. Who don’t need their model position to subsequent poisonous content material.
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Spotify revealed that Kizen would be valuable as it is capable of analyzing content in various languages and dialects, which will help the company to detect emerging threats across markets. “The bringing of entire Kizen team including its leadership will help to expand impactful and collaborative partnership. Now, working together as one, we will be able to improve our ability to detect and address harmful content”, said Dustee Jenkins, Spotify’s Global Head of Public affairs. She further added, “This investment expands Spotify’s approach to platform safety, and expresses how seriously we take our commitments to create a safe and enjoyable experience for our users and creators.”