Apple, Spotify and the impossible problem of moderating shows


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News Highlights: Apple, Spotify and the impossible problem of moderating shows

When Steve Bannon, former White House adviser and turned podcaster, called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray responded to the technical platforms. Twitter, YouTube and Spotify banned him and his podcast relatively quickly, cutting access to their millions of users. However, Apple Podcasts took a different stance. The most popular podcast app allowed its show to stay live in its directory so that months later when Bannon encouraged his listeners to gather at the Capitol to protest election results, people still had an easy way to access his thoughts. His show, even this week, is among Apple Podcast’s top 20 news podcasts.

A story of ProPublica in January pointed out the dangers of not moderating someone like Bannon. It’s fair to want Apple not to take advantage of clearly harmful voices, but the incident shows how unprepared the podcast industry is to moderate: companies face huge challenges in finding infringing content, and there is little to no transparency of the big players on how they check the entries in their apps. Plus, people in space have real, philosophical concerns about the extent to which …

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